A view of "Moai" statues in Ahu Akivi, on Easter Island, 4,000 km (2,486 miles) west of Santiago, in this photo taken Oct. 31, 2003. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo)
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The London museum has held the Hoa Hakananai'a, one of the most spiritually important of the Chilean island's stone monoliths, for 150 years.The moai is distinguished by carvings on the back depicting the island's birdman cult and other ceremonial aspects of Easter Island's enigmatic past.After the meeting, Ward said he was optimistic but cautioned that the campaign for the return of the statue would be a long one.It is the first time that the British Museum, which holds cultural treasures from around the globe, has agreed to hold talks about the statue.But on Tuesday the museum was talking only of a loan, not the return, on the artefact.
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