TEHRAN.(Iranart) – E aster Island’s indigenous authorities have asked Chile’s government to help them recover a unique monumental Moai statue removed 150 years ago and now kept in the British Museum in London.
The 2.4-meter tall Hoa Hakananai’a sculpture was allegedly pilfered illegally by Richard Powell aboard the ship HMS Topaze and given to Queen Victoria as a gift. “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.
Of the more than 900 giant humanoid sculptures on the island, most were carved from volcanic ash between the sixth and 17th centuries, but the Hoa Hakananai’a, which means “the stolen or hidden friend” in the island’s indigenous Rapa Nui language, is unique as it was made from basalt.
Figures associated with the Tangata Manu (bird man) cult were carved on its back.
This request “seems appropriate given the new coordination and conservation functions being carried out on the island,” Chile’s National Treasures Minister Felipe Ward told AFP.
Caption: Hoa Hakananai’a, meaning “the stolen or hidden friend,” was made from basalt.
source: Financial Tribune