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AFROMET - The Association for the Return of The Maqdala Ethiopian TreasuresDetail from the amulet of Emperor Tewodros
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the treasure
Abuna's crown

The British Government has already resisted one attempt to restore this gold crown to Ethiopia in 1923.

The Abuna's crownState official started a search for an appropriate present for Ras Tafari Makonnen (the future Emperor Haile Sellassie) when he visited Britain.

They applied to the Victoria & Albert Museum which they found had two crowns taken at Maqdala. (Find out more here).

After some debate they decided to keep this highly valuable gold crown and return a silver gilt one.

At the time they said: "The second crown, though less showy, is from an artistic point of view the superior article. It is listed in the Museum as the crown of the Abouna [sic]."

They added that it could not be returned because"nothing short of an Act of Parliament could get it out of the possession of the Museum; besides to restore it would create a very difficult precedent. We would be bebattled with demands to restore the Elgin marbles to Greece, not to mention other objects of interest which have been acquired from time to time as a result of military operations".

This latter crown, according to Sophia Shirley of today’s Victioria and Albert Museum, is made "mainly of high carat gold (more than 18 carat) alloyed with silver sand copper", and, according to Louise Hofman, also of the V. & A., weighs no less than 2,488.8 grammes.

Current location

The Victoria & Albert Museum, London
treasure count:
468 items
still missing
10 items
(still counting)

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recent discoveries

Glasgow's shield
Cameronians' cross
Reed shirt
Lancaster miscellaneous
Halifax miscellaneous
Throne cloth

full list of

missing treasure
returned treasure

see more

human remains
military hardware
personal effects
religious artefacts
royal regalia

current locations

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 Schøyen Collection
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Windsor Castle

Other locations

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