An 18th Century crown (thought to be one of just 20 in existence) that had been stolen and then hidden in a flat in the Netherlands for 21 years has been returned to the government of Ethiopia.
On Thursday, Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted photos of him receiving the crown from a delegation that included Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag.
Abiy wrote; “Today #Ethiopia receives a precious crown stolen several years ago and taken to the #Netherlands. I am grateful to Sirak Asfaw and the Netherlands government for facilitating its return.”
A report says the crown, has depictions of Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit, as well as Jesus’ disciples, and was likely gifted to a church by the powerful warlord Welde Sellase hundreds of years ago.
Further reports revealed that Ethiopian Sirak Asfaw, who lives in the Netherlands, discovered the crown in the suitcase of a visitor he was hosting.
Upon realising that it was stolen he held onto it until 2018 when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was elected to office.
He then reached out to art historian Arthur Brand and Dutch police to help keep it safe until its return home to Ethiopia.
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