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news & events
articles about returns
Joy as stolen objects are returned to Africa
Socialist Worker 05 May 05
The return to Ethiopia of historic objects stolen by fascist Italy reminds us of the imperialist crimes that scar Africa's past, writes John McLuckie
British Plunder Returned to Ethiopia
AP 10 February 05
Two sacred paintings have been returned to Ethiopia 137 years after they were ripped out of a holy book by invading British troops.
Italy Prepares to Return Prized Ethiopian Obelisk
Reuters 06 November 04
Italy finally looks set to heal a feud with Ethiopia by returning one of its most cherished relics, the obelisk of Axum, taken by fascist invaders almost 70 years ago.
Professor returns looted Ethiopian shield
Reuters 31 May 04
A Scottish professor has returned to Ethiopia a silver-decorated shield stolen from Emperor Tewodros 136 years ago by British troops, who made off with it and other treasures on 15 elephants and 200 mules.
The United States and the Aksum Obelisk
Addis Tribune 06 February 04
The Aksum Obelisk, looted on Mussolini's personal orders in 1937, has been dismantled by the Italian Government, and has been taken to Rome military airport. It has now to be flown to Aksum for erection there. Hopes have been expressed that it would be flown by a United States Hercules plane, but this has sadly not yet materialized.
Rome obelisk set for African return
BBC 8 November 03
Italian workers have detached the top section of an ancient obelisk looted from Ethiopia by fascist troops in 1937, in preparation for its return home.
Ancient holy book returned
IRIN News 6 October 2003
A holy book looted from Ethiopia by British troops more than a century ago was back home and on public display for the first time on Saturday.
Ethiopia recovers looted manuscript after 135 years
CNN/Reuters 29 September 03
An ancient handwritten Book of Psalms taken from the fortress of Ethiopian Emperor Theodros by British troops 135 years ago was returned to the Horn of Africa country on Monday.
Britain to return plundered ethiopian treasure
Voice of America 17 September 2003
One of Ethiopia's historical treasures - a centuries-old, handwritten Book of Psalms - is returning from London to Ethiopia. The 300-year-old book was taken by British troops when they ransacked the village of Magdala in the 1868 invasion of Ethiopia.
City priest sends holy loot home
Edinburgh Evening News 17 September 03
A HOLY book seized by British soldiers in a bloody battle in Ethiopia more than a century ago is to be returned to its homeland, thanks to a group of Edinburgh campaigners.
Ethiopian book of Psalms to be returned
Associated Press 16 September 2003
A handwritten copy of the Book of Psalms that British troops looted from Ethiopia in the 19th century will be returned. A group that works to return looted treasures to Ethiopia said Tuesday that it will take the 300-year-old book to Addis Ababa, the capital of the eastern African nation, later this month.
Sufragette's son to return holy book to Ethiopia
AFROMET press release 16 September 2003
A holy book is to be returned to Ethiopia 135 years after it was seized by British soldiers in a bloody battle. The handwritten copy of the Book of Psalms will be taken from the UK back to Addis Ababa later this month by Dr Richard Pankhurst, son of the suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst and long-time campaigner for the repatriation of Ethiopian loot.
Second Tabot restored to Ethiopia
AFROMET press release 02 July 03
A Tabot - a sacred and priceless representation of the Ark of the Covenant - was yesterday (Tuesday July 1 2003) returned to Ethiopia more than 130 years after it was taken at the battle of Maqdala.
Second ancient relic returned to Ethiopia
BBC 22 November 2002
A sacred relic taken from an Ethiopian emperor by British troops 130 years ago has been returned to Addis Ababa. A mystery British donor came forward with the amulet after learning that a Scottish church had already handed back another stolen artefact.
Return of amulet puts pressure on British Museum
The Independent 2 November 2002
A sacred amulet is due to be returned to Ethiopia today, 135 years after a British soldier ripped it from the neck of the country's Emperor during a battle. An anonymous British man has agreed to hand over the artefact which was taken at the battle of Magdala in 1868. The return will step up pressure on the British Museum and other institutions which still hold hundreds of illuminated manuscripts, crowns and religious objects seized at the same time.
Ethiopia hails return of sacred artefact
BBC 9 February 2002
Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have packed the streets of Addis Ababa to welcome home an ancient Ethiopian relic looted by British troops more than 130 years ago. The 400-year-old "tabot" - a replica of the Ark of the Covenant - was found in a Scottish Church in December.
130 years on, sacred artefact is back with rightful owners
The Scotsman 29 January 2002
THE normally sober surroundings of an Episcopalian church yesterday gave way to a splash of colour by an entourage of Ethiopian priests who arrived in Edinburgh to retrieve a sacred carving. The delegation, wearing bright robes and carrying decorated parasols, accepted the artefact, which was stolen from their country in a bloody battle and taken to the UK more than 130 years ago.
The St John's Tabot
The Rev John McLuckie - St John's Edinburgh Jan 2002
Tewodros and the Destruction of Maqdala
Emperor Tewodros II was, by any account, as remarkable and significant a leader for modern Ethiopia as he was a complex one. He was a moderniser, a cultural champion, a successful military leader and, in his final act of resistance at Maqdala, seen as a courageous patriot. His modernising vision encompassed the abolition of slave trade, the building of a road network, literary renaissance, land reform, and a thoroughgoing series of military reforms.
Sacred carving found in church cupboard returned to Ethiopia
Daily Telegraph 28 January 2002
A SACRED African artefact found in the back of a church cupboard in Scotland, 130 years after it was seized by British soldiers, started its journey back to Ethiopia yesterday. The Tabot, a wooden carving considered the most potent symbol of the country's orthodox church, was handed to an Ethiopian archbishop in Edinburgh.
Ethiopian artefact returning home
BBC 27 January 2002
A delegation of religious leaders from Ethiopia has travelled to Edinburgh to collect a sacred carving which was unearthed in a church cupboard.
Worshippers to return sacred Ethiopian carving
Scottish Episcopal Church Press Release 22 January 2002
Edinburgh worshippers are to return a sacred carving to Ethiopia - 130 years after British soldiers seized it in a bloody battle. Members of St John's Episcopal Church, Princes Street, will hand over the holy 'Tabot', to a delegation of Ethiopian priests and dignitaries next weekend.
Ethiopia gets back war booty
BBC World Service 21 January 2002
The Scottish episcopal church says an Ethiopian delegation will arrive in Edinburgh next Saturday to receive back a 400-year-old religious relic, looted by British troops more than a century ago. The sacred carving, called a Tabot, represents the Ark of the Covenant and is one of the holiest artefacts of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
The Return of Addis Ababa's Lost Tabot
The Addis Tribune 4 January 2002
The discovery in Edinburgh, Scotland, of one of a dozen or so Holy Tabots, or symbolic Ethiopian representations of the Ark of the Covenant, looted by British troops from Emperor Tewodros's capital at Maqdala in 1868, will be followed, within the next few weeks, by its return to Ethiopia.
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