The governor of Easter Island has urged the British Museum to return one of its famed huge statues.

The governor of Easter Island has urged the British Museum to return one of its famed huge statues, which was taken by the British without permission 150 years ago. The 8-foot-tall, 4-ton basalt figure is known as Hoa Hakananai’a, meaning ”lost or stolen friend”, and this week a delegation traveled from the Chilean island to London seeking its return. Following a meeting at the museum, governor Tarita Alarcón Rapu told reporters ”We all came here, but we are just the body — England people have our soul. And it is the right time to maybe send us back (the statue) for a while, so our sons can see it as I can see it. You have kept him for 150 years, just give us some months.” Easter Island is famous for the “moai” statues that dot its landscape. Islanders carved the statues to commemorate their ancestors, believing that they represent incarnations of dead relatives. The moai in London is one of only 14 made from basalt, and was donated to the museum by Queen Victoria, who had received it as a gift.

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