Ethiopia trying to restore lost heritage

ArtifactsAddis Ababa, Ethiopia  – Ethiopia is battling to bring back more than three thousand artifacts scattered around the globe, a substantial part of its historic heritage.

According to Wolde Darsema from the Heritage Authority, thousands of historic items, ranging from the monumental to the miniscule, are to be found in museums or in private hands in France, Israel, Vatican, Germany, Italy, the UK and elsewhere.

The Authority said that in addition to the more obvious and better known items in museums it is also working to bring back artifacts in the hands of individuals through diplomatic channels: it is also trying to purchase articles or persuade people to present them as a gift.

Efforts so far have managed to recover the Axum Obelisk, the gold Lalibela cross and a handful of other historic items.

Wolde Darsema said that the task of recovering many of these items was particularly difficult as many are in private hands, and museums remain reluctant to part with items however obtained.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is cooperating with the Heritage Management Authority, and the MoFA Spokesperson, Ambassador Dina, says the Ministry is working to obtain the return of various artifacts through bilateral channels.(MoFA)