Royal Theft, Ghanian Royals: Priceless crown jewels stolen from Ghana’s royal family
Police in Norway are investigating the theft of “priceless” crown jewels belonging a Ghanaian royal family from a hotel in Oslo.
The jewels were travelling with King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the ruler of the Ashanti people from Ghana, Togo and the Ivory Coast, who was representing Ghana at a conference in the Norwegian capital.
They were packed in a suitcase that was reportedly snatched from close to the reception desk in the lobby of the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel earlier this week, Norwegian tabloid VG Nett reported. The hotel was hosting the Norwegian-African Business Summit due to begin on Friday.
The stolen jewels, said to include rings and headwear, were part of a collection which has been amassed over generations and is used for ceremonial duties performed by the London-educated king, who remains one of the most influential traditional figures in Ghana.
“Anyone carrying something of great personal value will understand what a great loss it is when it is stolen,” the king’s secretary Kofi Owusu Boateng was quoted as saying in the Norwegian papers. “And for anyone who knows our tradition it will be clear that these crown jewels have tremendous value.”
Police in Norway say they have “good” CCTV pictures of the culprits and are now trying to identify them.
“As hosts for His Majesty, we are terribly sorry about this,” Eivind Fjeldstad, leader of the Norwegian-African Business Association, told VG Nett.
Inspector Marius Erlandssen in charge of the investigation, told AFP: “On Wednesday around 1pm, a suitcase belonging to the king of Ghana was stolen in the lobby of a hotel.
“We have video footage of a man leaving with the suitcase. We are working on identifying him. There might be other people involved.”
King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is frequently pictured adorned in ornate gold jewellery which, historians say, is meant to symbolise the power and prestige of his people. Many of the jewels, which are generally made from Ghana’s bountiful gold deposits and leather with gold studs, also hold symbolic spiritual meaning.
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