Ethiopia retrieves the ‘largest’ set of looted artefacts from Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands

In what the authorities described to be of “huge significance,” Ethiopia has retrieved numerous precious artefacts looted from the country by British forces during the Battle of Magdala. The artefacts which finally lands in the national museum were retrieved from Britain, Belgium and Netherlands.  

The country took delivery of items including ceremonial crown, an imperial shield, a set of silver-embossed horn drinking cups, a handwritten prayer book, crosses and a necklace. The government is still fighting Britain to return other sets of looted artefacts including sacred wooden and stone tabots or tablets which is considered by the people as a representation of the Ark of Covenant.

Responding to the news, Nasise Challi, the country’s tourism minister said “a variety of artefacts which are a legacy of our culture and values were looted during the battle and taken out of the country illegally.”

She added that, “countless of our artefacts are found in various museums, research centres and in the hands of private individuals.”

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Recall that, the British empire launched a war against Emperor Tewodros II in what was known in the days as the Battle of Magdala in 1868. Upon defeat of the emperor, the troops looted the treasures and resources from the empire.

The tourism ministry invited the media on Saturday for an official exhibition, displaying the items with hope that, the rest will soon be retrieved.

Ethiopia’s restitution came at the backdrop of intense campaign, calling on the western countries to return colonial spoils. This call has so far seen the repatriation of several Benin bronzes from countries such as France, USA, Britain, Germany among others to Nigeria.

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