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>> Give us a chance so he can come back.>> A tearful plea from the governor of Easter Island for the British people to give back their soul.>> You have kept him here for 150 years. Just give us some months and we can have him.>> What she means is this seven foot sculpture, which sits in London's British Museum and not on the remote island off the coast of Chile where it was first created by Islanders between 1100 and 1600 AD.
This delegation is on a trip to the UK to formally request its return. The carving is one of the native Polynesian emblems named in the local language, ancestors and lost or stolen friend. It was taken from the Easter Island in 1868 and presented to Queen Victoria who passed it on to the museum.
It's one of the many artifacts British explorers and dignitaries acquired from around the globe that are displayed here. Recently, a number of these treasures have become subject of intense debate and requests for return by their countries of origin. Among them, the Grecian antique statues known as The Elgin Marbles and the Benin Bronze from modern day Nigeria.
Easter Island has offered to swap this one for another sculpture by a contemporary, local artist.