Ethiopian 18th Century crown to return home from Netherlands

Sirak Asfaw, left, and Arthur Brand say they are waiting for the Ethiopian government to get in touch (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

An 18th Century Ethiopian crown will finally be returned home after being hidden in a Dutch flat for 21 years.

Ethiopian Sirak Asfaw, who fled to the Netherlands in the late 1970s, discovered the crown in the suitcase of a visitor and realised it was stolen.

The management consultant has protected it until he felt safe to send it back.

“Finally it is the right time to bring back the crown to its owners – and the owners of the crown are all Ethiopians,” he told the BBC.

The crown is thought to be one of just 20 in existence. It has depictions of Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit, as well as Jesus’ disciples, and was likely gifted to a church by the powerful warlord Welde Sellase hundreds of years ago.

It is currently being stored at a high security facility until it can be safely returned.

What’s the story of the crown?

Mr Sirak left his home country in 1978 to escape the political repression of the Communist government, or Derg, which had come to power in 1974. The regime unleashed a wave of violence known as the Red Terror, which killed hundreds of thousands and forced many to leave.

Read more at: BBC

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