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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."

Arts + Culture
"La valse des mailles" by Noella Elloh

Photos: 'Weaving Generations' Confronts Environmental Destruction in Côte d'Ivoire

The photo series, by artist Noella Elloh, advocates for collective responsibility around the "environmental question" across the continent by highlighting the threat it poses to a village of fishermen in Abidjan.

Noella Elloh is an Ivorian photographer and contemporary visual artist whose work contemplates identity, culture, environment and the role each play's in the stories of people across the continent.

Her latest work "Weaving Generations" centers on members of the fishing village of Blokosso, located in the center of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire's largest city. According to the artist, its themes include familial ties, urbanization, and the hazardous effects of environmental degradation, an issue that directly impacts the fishermen's livelihoods. "Today, instead of fishes, the fishermen's nets thrown in the water come back up with waste," says Elloh. "The Ebrie fishermen find themselves with the mesh of their nets torn down by scrap metal. Domestic, chemical, and Industrial wastes are also found in their nets. The depth of the lagoon decreases due to sedimentation. Rising waters are gradually making pieces of the land disappear."

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Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Responds to Trump's Claims of Being Snubbed for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says that Trump's issue with the Nobel Peace Prize recipient 'must be taken up in Oslo, not Ethiopia'.

UPDATE 01/13: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is currently in South Africa to seek mediation from President Cyril Ramaphosa in light of the deadlock with Egypt over a potential hydropower project on the Nile River.

At a press briefing in Pretoria, Ahmed responded to questions around President Donald Trump's recent claims to having been snubbed for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize although he was allegedly instrumental in "saving Ethiopia", according to the BBC.

Last year, Ahmed was awarded the prize largely for his role in ending the two-decade long border conflict with neighbouring country Eritrea.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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