Popular
Jan Hennop/Getty Images

The Netherlands Will Return an Eighteenth-Century Crown to Ethiopia

The priceless crown was found by a former refugee who hid it in his apartment for two decades.

An eighteenth-century Ethiopian crown has been in the possession of Sirak Asfaw, a former refugee and now Dutch citizen, for the past twenty years. The AFP reports that Asfaw discovered the stolen crown in a suitcase that had been left by one one of many fellow Ethiopian guests who passed through his apartment in Rotterdam, Netherlands. After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was elected to power in April 2018 and parliament went on to appoint Sahle-Work Zewde as Ethiopia's first woman president in October of the same year, Asfaw was confident that the crown would not "disappear" again when it was returned home.


The ornate copper-gilded Ethiopian crown features an image of the Holy Trinity as well as Jesus' apostles and is thought to be one of twenty currently in existence according to the BBC. It is also thought that the crown may have been gifted to a church by the warlord, Welde Sellase, a couple hundred years ago. Describing his discovery of the priceless artifact, Asfaw says that, "I looked into the suitcase and saw something really amazing and I thought 'this is not right. This has been stolen. This should not be here. This belongs to Ethiopia." He adds that, "But I knew if I gave it back, it would just disappear again."

Asfaw then contacted Arthur Brand who is known as the "Indiana Jones of the art world". Brand immediately sought permission from Dutch authorities to have the crown placed in a highly secured facility until its authenticity has been verified by both the Dutch and Ethiopian governments before its return to Addis Ababa. Describing the crown itself, Brand says that, "It's an a amazing piece. It's very big, I feel pity for the people who had to wear it on their heads because when you wear this for a couple of hours your neck hurts."

Popular
Photo by Giles Clarke/UNOCHA via Getty Images

Cameroon Holds Vigil to Remember Children Killed in School Attack

Residents in Kumba paid their respects to the seven lives lost, and those injured during the attack over the weekend.

In the latest tragedy to come from Cameroon's historically violent clash between Anglo and Francophone citizens, seven children were murdered after attackers stormed a school with guns and machetes over the weekend.

In what has been deemed as the "darkest and saddest day," by Bishop Agapitus Nfon of Kumba, armed attackers stormed the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, targeting students aged 9 to 12. The tragic event saw dozens of children injured, some critically.

The attack has shocked the nation, with both local and international agencies condemning the horrible offense. On Monday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya denounced the "horrific murder" of the school children, and alluded to the "appropriate measures" being taken in order to bring justice to the families of the victims. Prime Minister Dion Ngute Joseph shared his condolences via a tweet saying, "I bow before the memory of these innocent kids."

The Cameroonian presidency and governing body have blamed Anglophone 'separatists' for the attack, though the group claims no part in the attack.

Human rights groups, however, have blamed both opposing parties, as the conflict has led to the death of over 3,000 deaths and resulted in more than 700,000 Cameroonians fleeing their homes and the country.

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Interview: Meet Velemseni, Eswatini’s Queen of Soul

Soul artist Velemseni's music reflects Eswatini culture and aesthetics. "The Kingdom of Eswatini is a magical and mysterious place, and my music aims to interpret and document that mystique, drawing from genres like Swazi gospel, soul, African soul, cinematic and traditional music," says the artist.