ABABA, March 29 (NNN-ERTA) — Ethiopia is battling to bring back more than 3,000 artefacts scattered around the globe, a substantial part of its national historical heritage, says Wolde Darsema from the Heritage Authority.
He said here Thursday that thousands of historical items, ranging from the monumental to the miniscule, are to be found in museums or in private hands in France, Israel, the Vatican, Germany, Italy, Britain and elsewhere.
The Authority says that in addition to the more obvious and better known items in museums, it is also working to bring back artefacts in the hands of individuals through diplomatic channels. It is also trying to purchase articles or persuade people to present them as gifts.
Efforts so far have managed to recover the Axum Obelisk, the gold Lalibela Cross and a handful of other historic items.
Wolde Darsema said the task of recovering many of these items was particularly difficult as many were in private hands, and museums remained reluctant to part with items however obtained.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is co-operating with the Heritage Management Authority (MFA) to work to bring back the various artifacts through bilateral channels. — NNN-ERTA