Holland returns severed head

2009-07-23 20:04

The Hague - The Dutch government has officially returned the severed head of a Ghanaian chief who was decapitated 171 years ago.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry ceremony on Thursday was overshadowed as several of King Badu Bonsu II's tribal members showed visible anger because of an apparent breach of protocol.

The chief was hanged and beheaded to avenge the murder of two Dutch emissaries in 1838.

Members of his Ahanta tribe took part in the ceremony to honour his spirit by toasting with Dutch gin and then pouring the drink on the floor. The head was not displayed.

But they later said they had been sent by their current chief only to identify the head, not retrieve it.