Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Return sacred statue

Hoa Haka Nana’ia is one of the star exhibits in London’s British Museum. Source: ABC News.

Campaigners demand Britain return sacred Easter Island statue from London Museum, ABC News, 12 August 2016

Chilean filmmakers have launched a campaign for Britain to return a giant statue they say was stolen from the mystical Easter Island.

Hoa Haka Nana’ia, “hidden or stolen friend” in the island’s native language, is one of the star exhibits in London’s British Museum, seen by tourists from around the world.

But campaigners say it belongs with other sacred sculptures on the remote Chilean island in the Pacific, where it was taken from a century ago.

The London moai, as the famous Easter Island statues are known locally, stands 2.5-metres-high and weighs around four tonnes.

It is thought to have been sculpted around the 13th century.

Like other moai, it was believed to be inhabited by a “mana” or spirit that protected local tribes.

A new documentary about the statues says that “one way to recover the mana to restore wellbeing to the island is to bring the spirit of the Moai Hoa Kaka Nana’ia back to its native land”.

Read more



Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Mr Brian Oldman, South Australian Museum PO Box 234 Adelaide, South Australia 5001 Australia, © CAMD 2022
Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. The Council of Australasian Museum Directors does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided on this website. The information on our website is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the site undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No responsibility is taken for any information or services which may appear on any linked web sites. Hostgator.