Ethiopian 18th Century crown return home from the Netherlands


An Ethiopian crown of 18 century was returned home after spending time in a Dutch flat for more than 20 years.

An Ethiopian, Sirak Asfaw discovered the crown in a suitcase after running to the Netherlands late in the 1970s. Upon finding it, he came to realize it was stolen. The crown is one of 20 of it’s kind.

The management consultant was responsible for protecting it. This was until last year when he informed the Dutch police.

The prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, received the crown on Thursday.

On Thursday, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the crown, thought to be one of just 20 in existence.

It has images illustrations such as God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ. Also included on the crown are the disciples of Jesus Christ. Many believe that it was a gift to the church hundreds of years ago from the powerful warlord, Welde Sellase.

In a tweet, the Ethiopian Prime Minister thanked the Dutch government and, Mr. Sirak, for returning the “precious crown.”


The story of the crown

In 1978 Mr. Sirak fled to the Netherlands because of the political repression of the communist government. The communist government came into power in 1974.

The terror caused by the regime is known as the Red Terror. Hundreds of thousands died as a result of the wave of violence caused by the regime. It also forced many to leave.

While in Rotterdam, the former refugee took to hosting Ethiopians fleeing their country in his flat. He did this in the 1980s and 1990s. He said, “Friends, refugees, whoever.”

One of the visitors fleeing the violent regime came along with the crown in his bag to his flat.

According to Mr. Sirak, he said that many people don’t care about cultural heritage. While in a confrontation with the man, he insist it will not leave his house unless it is returning home.

He asks for help on various forums on the internet, which didn’t provide any useful answers. He then decided to hold on to it until he knows it can be safe.

Return of the crown

He said, “You end up in a dire situation, afraid of who to tell and what to do.” He also added that he was afraid the government of the Netherlands might cease it.

He further added on to say that “I had fire alarms all over my house, eight or something like that. Really scared!”

Because of the reforms and Mr. Abiy being the prime minister, he said that he felt the time was right to return the crown home.

He sought the help of Arthur Brand ( famous for being the Indiana Jones of the art word) to return it home.

He explained the situation to him, and after contacting the Dutch police, Mr. Brand was able to place the art in a safe facility.

After confirmation by an art expert that the art is for real, Mr. Brand thought it best to announce it publicly.

Finally, Both men waited patiently for the Ethiopian authorities to contact the Dutch government to secure a return.


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