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Friday, April 22, 2005

Second Obelisk Part in Ethiopia

The second part of a 1,700-year old stone obelisk looted by Italy nearly 70 years ago has arrived back in Ethiopia.

The Axum obelisk is regarded as one of Ethiopia's national treasures and there were huge celebrations when the first piece arrived on Tuesday.

The final piece is expected on Monday but the monument is not due to be re-erected until September.

Italian troops took the obelisk to Rome in 1937, where it stayed despite a 1947 UN agreement for its return.

The top arrived in Axum on Friday, after the middle piece was sent on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is expected to travel to Axum to lead national celebrations on Monday, when the final, bottom, section is due to return, reports the AP news agency.

BBC News

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