I did an immediate double take on hearing this news headline on BBC; “UK to loan back Ghana’s looted ‘crown jewels’”.

Thinking I had misheard, I made sure not to be distracted when the story itself was being read.

No, the headline was not incorrect.

The entire story was shocking.

Ghana was the ‘gold coast’.

The gist is that although it is well-documented and   recognized that Britain was once one of the most thieving empires of old and it acknowledges that most of the treasures in its museums were purloined, “….some national museums in the UK — including the V&A and the British Museum — are banned by law from permanently giving back contested items in their collections, and loan deals such as this are seen as a way to allow objects to return to their countries of origin!”  

The story continued; In receiving the stolen objects which are now being loaned back to the owners, Nana Oforiatta Ayim, special adviser to Ghana’s culture minister, told the BBC: “They’re not just objects, they have spiritual importance as well. They are part of the soul of the nation. It’s pieces of ourselves returning.”

You know, over the years, one has heard rumours about various British institutions refusing to return sacred stolen property to Africa, but this BBC story aired on January 24, 2024, was still shocking, as these items had been among the crown jewels of the Ashante Kingdom.

These particular items now being ‘loaned to Ghana’ were stolen in 1874 when British troops launched a punitive expedition against the Ashantekingdom, ransacking Kumasi and taking many of the palace treasures.

Spears versus muskets!

The BBC story also pointed out that the plundering of the crown jewels of Ashante Kingdom by Britain was by no means an isolated affair, for the habit of stealing crown jewels from Africa was well-established.

Another example is the Benin Bronzes. These are the thousands of sculptures and plaques looted by Britain from the palace of the Kingdom of Benin, in modern-day southern Nigeria.

 Nigeria has been demanding their return for decades but up to now they haven’t been able to get them back.

I guess Britain may loan them to that nation one day!

The victims of the massive theft that Britain carried out in Africa over the centuries should stop accepting this arrogance as a fait accompli.  This contemptible attitude by the descendants of the exploiters is totally unacceptable. 

All stolen artifacts, especially those of spiritual and cultural importance, should be returned forthwith.

Surely the descendants of the nations whose cultural items were looted by the invaders should not be accepting loans (of their own things) from Britain in order that their people can learn the great history of the tribes that were once supreme in Africa!

What amazes me is how little feedback there has been to this story, both in Britain and among their many victims, for I have been searching the Internet extensively and the silence is deafening.

I wonder if the generations to come will be as docile in accepting these indignities?

It is not only in Africa that this happened but also in Australia and New Zealand. Could this maiden speech delivered in Parliament in New Zealand in her native Maori language by that country’s youngest parliamentarian, 21-year-old Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke, be a sign that the descendants of the victims will be a new less accepting and compliant in the future, or is it just entertainment for the over 7 million people who have seen it so far?

Watch it at; https://youtu.be/xPiJftYyovw?feature=shared and tell me what you think.

Maybe I am just grabbing at straws!

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