Emperor Menelik Statue, Sebastopol Artillery to Get Face-lift

Statue of Emperor Menelik II (photo: Capital)

Menelik II Statue, which was exposed to vibration during the construction of the Addis Abeba Light Rail Transit (AA-LRT), is to be restored along with Sebastopol Artillery for 5.4 million Br.

The Addis Abeba City Government Culture & Tourism Bureau, established a decade ago, had allocated a budget of 30 million Br for the current fiscal year to conserve two monuments and three historical houses of Ethiopian emperors. Among them, the statue of Emperor Menelik II in Piassa, along the St. Georgis – Kaliti rail route and the monument with a replica of the Sebastopol artillery at Tewodros Square, Addis Abeba are lined up for restoration.

The restoration will be carried out by Dawit Tsadik Heritage Restoration & Beautification, which was selected after a tender that was floated twice for bidders’ failed to meet the minimum requirements, according to Worku Mengesha, communication director at the Bureau.

“The contractor will begin work after signing an agreement with the Bureau,” Worku said, adding that it is expected to finalise within six to nine months.

The bid specifications were prepared by a team of experts from Addis Abeba University (AAU), the Authority for Research & Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) and the Bureau. A committee of representatives from the latter two, will likewise supervise the project.

The majority of the restoration will consist of cleaning, filling of grooves and holes, replacing damaged parts of the monuments, and returning them to their original form.

“The project needs a team of skilled personnel with sound experience of heritage conservation and landscaping,” said Hailu Zeleke, cultural heritage conservation director at the Authority and consultant for the restoration project, who added that Menelik II Statue was deemed eligible for restoration once the construction of the rail was completed in 2015.

For the over a century old capital city, there are many cultural, historical and natural tourist attractions, with 15 monuments, 17 museums, four palaces and 440 historical residences.

The Bureau has also planned to renovate three historic houses in the current fiscal year. Bitweded Woldetsadik’s house, the first mayor of Addis Abeba, built in 1900 and located at Nifas Silk Lafto District, and Sheik Hojele Al Hassen’s palace, located at Gullele District in Shegole Meda, are two of the houses set for renovation. The home of Bitweded Haileghiorgis, the second mayor of the capital, which then became the first municipality of the city, located at Piassa, is another.

In 2016, the Bureau had restored Yekatit 12 Martyr’s Monument at Sidist Kilo and Miaziya 27 Victory monument at Arat kilo for four million Birr, aside from having restored the home of Ras Biru Woldegabriel, located around Mesqel Square for 16 million Br last fiscal year.

“Conservation is a delicate job that needs experienced professionals in the field where the monuments would retain their historical legacy,” said Kassaye Begashaw (Prof), who has been a lecturer for decades at AAU’s Department of Archaeology & Heritage Management.

Source: Addis Fortune