Campaign for Easter Island Statue’s Return Heats Up!

Campaign for Easter Island Statue’s Return Heats Up!, there’s been quite a stir at the British Museum lately, all because of a massive moai statue from Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui. You know, those giant stone heads that honor their ancestors? Yeah, those ones!

Social Media Gets Things Going

So, here’s the deal: some Chilean activists, led by social media whiz Mike Milfort, who’s got a massive 7.5 million followers on TikTok, are rallying to bring back a specific moai statue. It’s called Hoa Hakananai’a, meaning “lost or stolen friend,” and it’s a whopping 8 feet tall! This bad boy was swiped without permission clear back in 1868.

Mike’s been stirring the pot with posts about this moai at the British Museum, using the hashtag #DevuelvanElMoai, which basically translates to “give the moai back.” And boy, did it get people talking! The museum’s Instagram got flooded with comments, all saying the same thing: return the moai!

Museum’s Reaction

Feeling the pressure, the British Museum decided to hit pause on comments on one of their posts, citing the need to keep things safe, especially for the young ‘uns. But they’re not ignoring the situation entirely. They’ve acknowledged the campaign and said they’re open to talking it out, but they’ve put a stop to the social media comments for now.

Even the President Chimes In

Guess who else joined the chorus? Chilean President Gabriel Boric! He threw his weight behind the call for the moai’s return during a chat about tourism in Chile. Seems like he’s on the same page as many who think the statue should head back to its roots.

The Moai’s Backstory

Now, let’s talk about this moai in London. It’s pretty special—it’s made from basalt and is one of only 14 like it. Queen Victoria herself donated it to the British Museum back in the day, and it’s been on display ever since. But with all this noise, folks are saying it’s time to send it back home to Easter Island.

Past Attempts

This isn’t the first rodeo for those trying to get the moai back. Back in 2018, the governor of Easter Island, Tarita Alarcón Rapu, got emotional making her plea for its return. She was hoping for at least a loan arrangement. And in 2019, a delegation from the museum even flew out to Easter Island to chat about sending some of its famous artifacts back.

What’s Next?

The British Museum claims they’ve been in talks with folks from Easter Island, trying to build a stronger relationship and maybe pave the way for future partnerships. But the pressure’s on, not just for this moai, but for artifacts all over Western museums. People are demanding they go back to where they belong, and the British Museum’s feeling the heat.

It’s a Global Trend

And it’s not just the British Museum in the hot seat. Other places, like London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, are also feeling the pinch. They recently agreed to send back silver and gold stuff looted from Ghana way back in the 1800s.

So, the battle rages on, and the talk of repatriation isn’t dying down anytime soon. Keep your eyes peeled to see how this all plays out!