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July 03, 2003

Finder of the Lost Ark

In 1868 British soldiers looted the Maqdala fortress in the north of Ethiopia as part of a campaign to free some hostages.

Royal treasures along with some valuable manuscripts and religious artefacts found their way into museums and private collections.

One of these treasures - a tabot, an altar slab or ark - is now returning to Ethiopia after a private individual purchased it at auction. While this philanthropic soul seeks to avoid a political controversy the tone of this BBC report suggests support for the return of Ethiopian artifacts to Ethiopia. The Flea is not so sure. Accounts by those sympathetic to the Ethiopian government tend to play down the reason for the British expedition which made off with the artifacts.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 3, 2003 10:09 AM