Moai Stone Statue Begins Journey Home to Easter Island

Radio New Zealand recently reported that a huge “Moai” statue, one of the iconic stone monuments from Rapa Nui or Easter Island has begun its journey back home.

It’s been a years-long campaign to get it returned to its original setting since it was housed in a museum in Santiago, Chile, in the 19th century.

Moai statues were built to honor chieftain or other important people who had passed away. They were placed on rectangular stone platforms called ahu, which are tombs for the people that the statues represented. The moais were intentionally made with different characteristics since they were intended to keep the appearance of the person it represented.

The 715 kilogram sculpture will be transported by truck to the Chilean port city of Valparaiso, from where it will set sail on a naval ship on a journey of about five days to reach remote Rapa Nui.

The initiative is part of a repatriation program seeking to return to the Pacific Ocean island ancestral remains, sacred and funerary objects.

Similar negotiations have taken place to try to recover a specimen in the hands of the British Museum.”For the first time, a Moai will return to the island from the mainland,” Minister of Culture Consuelo Valdes told reporters. “Without a doubt, this is part of a work that as a ministry we began years ago with the return of various collections and ancestors to their homeland.”

Easter Island, over 2,000 miles (3,219 km) from the coast of Chile, has over a thousand stone statues, giant heads that were carved centuries ago by the island’s inhabitants, which have brought it fame and UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

The Rapa Nui community held an act in honor of the icon at the National Museum of Natural History in the Chilean capital, which still retains two smaller sculptures. The statue will be housed in the Padre Sebastianian Englert Anthropological Museum on the tourist island.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s