Dutch to return Ghana king's head

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Badu Bonsu II, leader of the Ashanti tribe, is believed to have been decapitated in retaliation for the killing of two Dutch emissaries.

The Leiden museum, which has been storing the head, said it hoped it could now have a dignified burial.

Ghana had said the king would not be at rest if the head remained where it was.

King Bonsu is thought to have been executed after the two officials were killed during a rebellion against European rule in the country, hanging their heads on his throne as a trophy.

At some point, the king's head was taken from Ghana to the Netherlands, and has been kept in a jar of formaldehyde at the Leiden University Medical Centre ever since.

Author Arthur Japin told Dutch media last year that he once saw the head while researching a historical novel.

"He's got a little ring beard, his eyes are closed as if he's sleeping," said Mr Japin.

"My first thought was, this is not fitting."

After hearing of the head's location in 2008, Ghana filed a request for its return, saying if it remained unburied the king would be incomplete and therefore "hunted in the afterlife".

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