Title: Easter Island governor begs British Museum to return Moai: 'You have our soul’
Media Outlet: The Guardian
Publish Date: November 20, 2018
“(…) “My grandma, who passed away at almost 90 years, she never got the chance to see her ancestor,” said governor Tarita Alarcón Rapu after meeting officials from the British Museum, accompanied by Felipe Ward, Chile’s national assets minister.
“I am almost half a century alive and this is my first time,” she added.
(…) “I believe that my children and their children also deserve the opportunity to touch, see and learn from him,” Rapu said, with tears in his eyes.
“We are just a body. You, the British people, have our soul,” she added.
Hoa Hakananai’a was taken without permission in 1868 by the British frigate HMS Topaze, captained by Richard Powell, and given to Queen Victoria.
(…) It is the first time that the British Museum, which holds cultural treasures from around the globe, has agreed to hold talks about the statue. But on Tuesday the museum was talking only of a loan, not the return, on the artefact.