Easter Islanders Ask British Museum for Return of Moai Statue

Ahu Akivi, one of the few inland ahu, with the only moai facing the ocean.
Ahu Akivi, one of the few inland ahu, with the only moai facing the ocean.
(Photo taken by Ian Sewell, July 2006. Wikimedia Commons.)

From the Guardian:

Easter Island’s indigenous people have asked Chile’s government to help them recover a unique Moai statue removed 150 years ago and now kept in the British Museum in London.

The seven-foot-tall (2.4-metre) Hoa Hakananai’a sculpture was removed from the island by Richard Powell, captain of HMS Topaze, in 1868 and given to Queen Victoria, who donated it to the museum in 1869.

“It’s a unique piece, the only tangible link that accounts for two important stages in our ancestral history,” the island’s Rapa Nui authorities said on Tuesday.

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