Ethiopia is celebrating the unveiling of an ancient giant obelisk taken by the Italians during the 1930s. A national treasure, the one thousand seven hundred year old monument was returned from Italy 3 years ago. The obelisk has now been restored to its former glory in Axum, once the centre of a powerful trading empire.
Director of UNESCO World Heritage Francesco Bandarin said:
“The site of Axum is at the heart of many projects. ‘‘UNESCO collaborates with other organisations such as the world bank to make this possible – with all the importance it already has and the notoriety that this operation will bring, it’s one of the major sites in Africa, he said.”
Plundered during Italy’s 1937 invasion of the country, the 160 tonne giant granite tower was erected in Rome by fascist leader Benito Mussolini.
The intricately crafted obelisks were placed in Axum to pay homage to Ethiopia’s ancient kings. It was also home to the legendary Queen of Sheba.