December 6, 2008
Following Ethiopia’s demands for the return of looted artefacts currently in Britain, Kwame Opoku loks at what this demand means for Ethiopia & other countries.
Datum: 05.12.08 11:15
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku
Ethiopia: The Way in Demand for Restitution of African Artefacts
Ethiopian President shows the Way in Demand for Restitution of African Artefacts
According to a report in The Independent of 23 November, 2008, the Ethiopian President, Girma Wolde-Giorgis, has requested British museums holding stolen/looted Ethiopian cultural treasures to return them.
This is not surprising considering the enormous amount of Ethiopian cultural and historical objects that are in several British museums and universities. The real wonder is that these venerable institutions, including the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh and others, have not found it necessary in all these years to return the objects which were not made for the British but for the Ethiopians. What kind of message are these learned institutions sending to their students and the rest of the world? They do not seem to be worried that by holding on to these stolen goods they are not only violating the proprietary rights of others but also their religious rights and their right to cultural development. How can they properly practice their religion when their religious objects and symbols are kept by others with whom they have no cultural affinities, thousands of miles away? We have not found an explanation for how those who consider themselves as Christians can steal the religious symbols and objects such as Christian crosses from other Christians? Where is their morality in holding on to stolen religious symbols and objects?
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