Return of Obelisk of Axum improves Italy – Ethiopia relations

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Lauding last April’s return of the Obelisk of Axoum — stolen by the Italian government under Mussolini who tried to colonise Ethiopia between 1935 and 1945 — the Ethiopia Ambassador in Paris, France [where another very famous Obelisk from Egypt, is conspicuously erected at the place de la concorde] Mrs Tadelech Hail Michael, has suggested that all monuments should be returned to their rightful countries.

The return of the Obelisk of Axoum in Ethiopia will contribute to the settlement of the dispute that existed between Addis Ababa and Rome , the Ambassador of Ethiopia in France, Mrs Tadelech Hail Michael, said in an interview.

“For the Ethiopian people, the Obelisk of Axoum was a crack between the two governments. “But since its return in its original site, this has become a message of peace. He settled the problems which existed between the two states. Now, there is great cooperation,” Michael declared.

The Ethiopian diplomat highlighted that the monument, which is invaluable for her fellow citizens, is neither a statue nor an obelisk but an hawulte, which means in Ethiopian language, an eternal monument.

UNESCO announced Thursday in Paris the reinstallation of the Obelisk of Axoum on its original site on 4 June after the return in Ethiopia of the monument from Rome in April 2005.

The Obelisk of Axoum, whose archeological site was registered on the Global heritage list in 1980, had been in Rome since its abduction in 1937 by the Italian military during the invasion of Ethiopia. It has a total height of 23.4 metres and weighs 152 tonnes.

“The return of the monument,” Michael said, “is not only a source of pride for Ethiopia, but also for the entire world, because there still are monuments throughout the world which are far from their owners.”

The ambassador pleaded for the return of all monuments to their countries of origin while insisting on the agreement between the two parties, warning: “if not, this can lead to problems.”

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