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The British Museum currently holds nine tabots taken in the aftermath of the battle of Magdala.
Given the sacred nature of the tabots, Museum staff have promised never to put them on display. The gesture is appreciated. But it raises the question of why the Museum is insisting on holding on to exhibits that it can never show.
A Tabot is traditionally kept wrapped in cloths at the centre of an Ethiopian Orthodox church.
It focuses the presence of God in every Ethiopian church. Its removal is an act of sacrilege comparable to the removal of the Reserved Sacrament in an Anglican or Catholic church.
It is only ever seen by the priest and represents the Ark of the Covenant, which the Israelites used to carry the Ten Commandments as they travelled to the Promised Land. Ethiopian Christians believe they still possess the original Ark.Current location
The British Museum, London
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The British Library
The British Museum
Duke of Wellington's Regimental Museum Halifax
Dundee University Museum
Edinburgh University Library
The John Rylands Uni Library
Lancaster Museum & Priory
National Archives of Scotland
The Sch°yen Collection
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Movable Type 2.63