Ver Angola


King of Bailundo will ask Portugal to return Angolan cultural assets

The traditional Angolan king of Bailundo, Ekuikui VI Tchongolola Tchongonga, will ask the Portuguese Government to return cultural assets taken from his country during the colonial period in a visit he intends to make to Lisbon in early 2024.

: Zeferino Zinga/Angop
Zeferino Zinga/Angop  

In an interview with Lusa, Ekuikui VI, who is in Brazil to strengthen ties with the Afro-Brazilian community and participate in events commemorating Black Awareness Month in the South American country, said that the trip to Lisbon should take place in the first quarter of 2024, but highlighted that it is still necessary to organize all necessary conditions.

"We know that, in Europe, we will be in Portugal, in Lisbon, in the first quarter of 2024, but in January all of Portugal, all of Angola, everyone will know the itinerary of King Bailundo and his entourage", said the traditional representative of the Ovimbundu peoples.

"We are going to get in touch with the Ministry of Culture, because we know that there are already several traditional pieces and artefacts returned and those that have not yet been returned, we will talk to the leaders at the Ministry of Culture of Portugal to bring them back, but it is a work that is not yet finished", he added.

Sovereign of the subnational kingdom of Bailundo, Ekuikui VI, 39 years old, who holds cultural and spiritual importance among members of the largest ethnic group in Angola, said that he is holding talks with authorities from his country's Ministry of Culture about the return of cultural assets.

"We believe that, after finishing our work with the Ministry of Culture of Angola, and hearing a little from the Ministry of Culture of Portugal, we will have enough data to fulfill one of our main objectives and we will know what we should rescue there in Portugal", explained.

The return of Angolan cultural heritage present for decades in Portuguese museums is part of the agenda of the African country's Ministry of Culture, according to public statements given by the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Environment, Filipe Zau.​

Ekuikui VI stated that he cannot disclose the itinerary he intends to follow in Portugal, as he is still talking to the authorities, but confirmed that he has already formalized his plans in this regard.

"We released everything on paper. We still haven't had the 'feedback' [response], but when we come [to Portugal] we will have all the answer", he concluded.

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