The British Museum Needs to Return Rapa Nui Statue to Easter Island at Once

Tears streamed down her cheeks as Tarita Alarcon Rapu, Governor of Easter Island, spoke outside the British Museum, trying to convey how important the situation is.

The statue was taken from Easter Island 150 years ago by the British, not understanding its relevance for the local people. It is one of only 14 basalt statues from the island, that represent Rapa Nui's ancestral chiefs and are considered as direct descendants of the gods. They are, quite simply, family.

Named "Hoa Hakananai'a," which means "the stolen/lost friend" in Rapa Nui language, this statue must be returned to its rightful place — especially considering its incredible importance within the Rapa Nui community.

So much more than a sculpted piece of rock, Hoa Hakananai'a is a symbol that reminds everyone of Britain's colonising, rampaging past. This is the chance to show how much things have changed for the better and show empathy towards other cultures.

The British Museum must give Hoa Hakananai'a back!

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