Foreign minister backs king’s head return

Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen supports the Ghanaian government’s request for the return of the head of king Badu Bonsu II, which is currently part of Leiden university’s anatomical collection.

And in order to bring the issue to a close, he has offered his services to the Ghanaian embassy in the The Hague, news agency ANP reports.
It is not clear how the head ended up in Leiden. ANP says the king was handed over to the Dutch by his own people in 1838 and was hung.
But writer Arthur Japin, who came across the head while researching a book, said in October that the head was taken by a Dutch general in retaliation for the killing of two Dutch emissaries.
Deputy ambassador Eric Odoi-Anim told a tv show in October that unless the head is buried, the king’s body cannot rest and his clan will be stigmatised.
A spokeswoman for the university acknowledged a request for the head had been made and that the university and foreign affairs ministry are in talks.
For a previous story on the king’s head, click here

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