“History, artifacts and evidence of indigenous knowledge and the culture of the ancient civilization of our country… were looted in the war and smuggled illegally,” said Ethiopian Tourism Minister Nasis Tchala.
The items, which include an intricate lattice cross, a colorful trio depicting the crucifixion of Jesus, and an ornate red copper imperial shield, It is part of the largest pushback operation in Ethiopia’s history, officials said..
Among the items are an intricate procession cross, a colorful trio depicting the crucifixion of Jesus, and an ornate red copper imperial shield. Photo: Reuters/Texa Nigeria
The artifact was captured in 1868, after the Battle of Magdala between the British and Ethiopian Empires.
In June, a private seller offered some pieces of the bloodline of a British soldier who fought in Majdala at an auction in the United Kingdom.
“There are many artifacts that were looted from Magdala,” said Teferi Meles, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the UK, where many of these treasures are located.
“We have not been able to return all of them, but this is the first time in the country’s history that looted artifacts have been returned in such an amount.”
Many things were acquired by the Scheherazade Foundation, a cultural non-profit organization, and they were handed over to the Ethiopian Embassy in September. They have been brought back to Addis Ababa for the weekend and will be on display in Ethiopian museums.
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