The UK has Offered to Give Ethiopia Back Its Stolen Treasures—On Loan

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has agreed to return artifacts taken from Ethiopia 150 years ago on a long-term loan.

The UK has agreed to "loan" Ethiopia back stolen treasures taken from the country 150 years ago.

Ethiopia filed a claim in 2007 asking that the UK return ancient artifacts and manuscripts taken in 1868 during the capture of Maqdala. These items include a gold crown and royal wedding dress, reports BBC Africa. Both items were taken from the mountain capital of Emperor Tewodros II in the area formerly known as Abyssinia and are currently held in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The Ethiopian government's claim was denied by the museum, but Director Tristam Hunt, suggested another solution: that the looted items be temporarily given back through a long-term loan.

"The speediest way, if Ethiopia wanted to have these items on display, is a long-term loan. That would be the easiest way to manage it," BBC Africa quotes him as saying. The items will be on display at the Victoria and Albert museum for their upcoming exhibit Maqdala 1868, which will display 20 separate artifacts to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle.

While The Guardian reports that the Ethiopian state and some supporters have been open to the deal, Hunt suggested that the ownership of cultural property is a complex one and that there is no one strategy that can be applied to the returning of items. "You have to take it item by item and you have to take it history by history. Once you unpick the histories of the collections it becomes a great deal more complicated and challenging," he told The Guardian.

We're not quite sure how complicated it is to simply hand these items back to their rightful owners, but we already know how colonizers operate. If you don't, just ask the homie Erik Killmonger.

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Without enough tutelage to kickstart a career in music production, Ransom Beatz latched onto a YouTube-led approach, a path less treaded by Nigerian producers. Through this approach, he bases his beat production on user demand rather than mere intuition. To put it simply, he makes the type of beats people are searching for on YouTube. His rendition of "Beat My Meat" by Ugly God was a turnaround in his channel, garnering over 7 million views. "I didn't understand how well it performed until I checked my AdSense," he said. His YouTube channel, now known for afrobeats, trap and drill has since garnered almost 70,000 subscribers and over 10 million views.

Through YouTube, Ransom Beatz is collaborating with heavyweights across the world. In 2019, he produced "Goosebumps" from the comeback project of Nigeria's Runtown. In 2020, he alongside his crony Ramoon, also a [Moroccan] YouTube producer, made the beat for "Yaya" by US rapper 6ix9ine. He also produced "Smoke" by British rappers Big Tobz and Dizzee Rascal. Recently, he produced four tracks off Runtown's new project, Sound God Fest Reloaded, including "Mama Told Me" featuring Made Kuti.

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This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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