Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ethiopia Rejoices as Italy Returns Plundered Obelisk

Ethiopians yesterday welcomed home the first of three giant sections of the 1,700-year-old Axum Obelisk, one of their most prized antiquities looted by Italy's fascists in the 1930s.

Priests chanted and church bells rang out as a huge Antonov cargo jet returning the monument's first 60 ton chunk landed safely after flying over the runway four times, watched anxiously by a crowd of thousands.

The 80 ft obelisk has stood in Rome's city centre since it was plundered in 1937 but is being returned piece by piece. Italy is paying the entire £4.3 million bill ($7.7m) for the operation.


Part of the Axum Obelisk is returned to Ethiopia

Courtesy: Reuters

Did you know?
Benito Mussolini's Italy used mustard gas in Ethiopia and Libya. SEE the effects of mustard gas.

Ethiopia never received an official apology. The question that begs an answer is: Where was the Vatican during this time?

Also, the late Pope John Paul II has visited more than 125 countries in his 26 years as the Pope, but never visited Ethiopia...

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