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Delegates from Easter Island meet with British Museum to demand the return of sculpture | TribLIVE.com
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Delegates from Easter Island meet with British Museum to demand the return of sculpture

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Adrian Dennis | AFP/Getty Images
An ancestor figure ‘moai’ known as Hoa Hakananai’a stands at the entrance to the Wellcome gallery in the British Museum in London.

An Easter Island delegation has traveled to London to demand the British Museum return its Hoa Hakananai’a sculpture, removed from the island and given as a gift to Queen Victoria in 1868.

The sculpture is one of the most spiritually important of the Chilean island’s stone monoliths , according to The Guardian.

The 4-metric ton statue, or “moai”, is one of hundreds originally found on the island.

“You have taken here, and keep him (sic) for 150 years,” an emotional Tarita Alarcón Rapu, governor of Easter Island, appealed to the British Museum.

This isn’t the first time the British Museum has faced numerous claims to return artefacts to the countries they originate from. Demands have also been made to return the Parthenon marbles to Greece and the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria.

The British Museum is considering “loaning” the sculpture back, or, perhaps, swapping for a contemporary work of art, Reuters reported.

Samson X Horne is a Tribune-Review staff writer. He can be reached at [email protected] or via Twitter @spinal_tapp.

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