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Ethiopia says British museum should completely return its artifacts

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Britain should completely return all artifacts from Ethiopia held by the Victoria and Albert Museum and Addis Ababa won’t settle for them on mortgage, an Ethiopian government official mentioned.

The name comes after the museum, considered one of London’s hottest vacationer points of interest, put Ethiopian treasures plundered by British forces on show.

“Well, it would be exciting if the items held at the V&A could be part of a long-term loan with a cultural institution in Ethiopia,” museum director Tristram Hunt mentioned.

“These items have never been on a long-term loan in Ethiopia, but as we look to the future I think what we’re interested in are partnerships around conservation, interpretation, heritage management, and these need to be supported by government assistance so that institutions like the V&A can support sister institutions in Ethiopia.”

Among the objects on show are sacred manuscripts and gold taken from the Battle of Maqdala 150 years in the past, when British troops ransacked the fortress of Emperor Tewodros II.

The provide of a mortgage didn’t go far sufficient for Ethiopia.

“What we have asked (for) was the restitution of our heritage, our Maqdala heritage, looted from Maqdala 150 years ago. We presented our request in 2007 and we are waiting for it,” mentioned government minister Hirut Woldemariam mentioned.

Ephrem Amare, Ethiopian National Museum director, added: “It is clearly known where these treasures came from and whom they belong to. Our main demand has never been to borrow them. Ethiopia’s demand has always been the restoration of those illegally looted treasures. Not to borrow them.”

The V&A couldn’t instantly be reached for additional touch upon Monday.

In launching the Maqdala 1868 exhibition of what Hunt known as “stunning pieces with a complex history” this month, he mentioned the show had been organized in session with the Ethiopian neighborhood in London.

“As custodians of these Ethiopian treasures, we have a responsibility to celebrate the beauty of their craftsmanship, shine a light on their cultural and religious significance and reflect on their living meaning, while being open about how they came to Britain,” he mentioned in a weblog on the museum web site.

Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Alison Williams


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