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Posts Tagged ‘Ethiopian Manuscript’

Ethiopia Demands Britain Return All Country’s Artefacts Held By Victoria And Albert Museum

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 25, 2018

Request comes as treasures plundered by British forces in 1868 are put on display

A crown, probably made in Gondar, Ethiopia, around 1740 Victoria and Albert museum

Ethiopia has demanded Britain permanently return all artefacts that originated in the African country but are now held by the Victoria and Albert Museum.

An Ethiopian official said the government would not accept them on loan.

The declaration comes after the museum – one of London’s most popular tourist attractions – put treasures plundered by British forces from the east African nation in 1868 on display.

Well, it would be exciting if the items held at the V&A could be part of a long-term loan with a cultural institution in Ethiopia,” museum director Tristram Hunt said.

These items have never been on a long-term loan in Ethiopia, but as we look to the future I think what we’re interested in are partnerships around conservation, interpretation, heritage management, and these need to be supported by government assistance so that institutions like the V&A can support sister institutions in Ethiopia.”

Among the items on display are sacred manuscripts and gold taken from the Battle of Maqdala 150 years ago, when British troops ransacked the fortress of Emperor Tewodros II.

The offer of a loan did not go far enough for Ethiopia.

What we have asked (for) was the restitution of our heritage, our Maqdala heritage, looted from Maqdala 150 years ago. We presented our request in 2007 and we are waiting for it,” government minister Hirut Woldemariam said.

Ephrem Amare, Ethiopian National Museum director, added: “It is clearly known where these treasures came from and whom they belong to. Our main demand has never been to borrow them. Ethiopia’s demand has always been the restoration of those illegally looted treasures. Not to borrow them.”

The V&A said on Tuesday the idea of a long-term loan had come up as it discussed its Maqdala exhibition with Ethiopian authorities. “The V&A is committed to continuing this important and wide-ranging dialogue with colleagues at the Ethiopian Embassy in London,” it added in a statement.

In launching the Maqdala 1868 exhibition of what Mr Hunt called “stunning pieces with a complex history” this month, he said the display had been organised in consultation with the Ethiopian community in London.

As custodians of these Ethiopian treasures, we have a responsibility to celebrate the beauty of their craftsmanship, shine a light on their cultural and religious significance and reflect on their living meaning, while being open about how they came to Britain,” he said in a blog on the museum website.

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Researcher Identifies Second-Oldest Ethiopian Manuscript in Existence in HMML’s Archives

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 18, 2010


Ted Erho, a doctoral student at Durham University in England, recently spent six weeks at HMML studying Ge’ez (classical Ethiopic) manuscripts, according to Hill Museum & Manuscript Library.Com.

HMML’s microfilm and digital collections are the richest resource for the study of Ethiopian manuscripts in the world. Supported by one of HMML’s Heckman scholarships, Erho made stunning discoveries for both Ethiopian and biblical studies during his time at HMML.

Working with previously-uncataloged manuscripts from HMML’s Ethiopian Manuscript Microfilm Library, Erho has identified the second oldest Ethiopic manuscript in existence (the oldest is the famous Abba Garima Gospels), which also contains the oldest known copies of books from the Old Testament.

This manuscript, EMML 6977, dates prior to the Solomonic Era in Ethiopia, which began in 1270 CE and contains the books of Job and Daniel, as well as two homilies. He also identified the oldest known major Ge’ez codex of the Old Testament (EMML 9001), which contains the entire Book of Jubilees, considered to be a canonical book by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Its presence in this manuscript is now the oldest known copy of the Book of Jubilees.

Finally, Erho is cataloging the biblical manuscripts from Gunda Gunde in northern Ethiopia, numbering more than fifty of the 220 manuscripts in the Gunda Gunde collection photographed in 2006 by Michael Gervers and Ewa Balicka-Witakowska in an expedition sponsored by HMML.

All but one of the Old Testament manuscripts at Gunda Gunde are from the sixteenth century or before, exceptionally early for Ethiopian manuscripts.


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