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Pictures from Trafalgar Square
The Battle of Adwa (The Bell of Torment Stained
in Blood) from Haile Girma
from Victory Day - Miyazya 27 2001 / May 5th 2009
mus' forward a Ithiopia
British pillage of Maqdala following
the death of
In 1868 an expedition led
by the British General RC Napier set off from
the Red Sea for Maqdala, the capital of Abyssinia. Their mission was to secure the
release of two British envoys who were being
held captive, along with a group of European
artisans and missionaries, by the Emperor Tewodros.
In the massacre that
followed 700 Ethiopians were killed by rifle
fire, British losses were 2 dead, 18 wounded.
The Emperor released his captives but this
did not stop the British forces from storming
the city. When he saw that defeat was
unavoidable Emperor Tewodros shot himself
with a gun given to him by Queen Victoria.
Following the battle the
city was looted and also the Church of
Madhane Alam. 15 elephants and 200 mules were
used to carry the loot away. It was auctioned
off a few days later and the £5000 gained was
distributed amongst the British troops.
Much of the treasure was
transported to Britain where most of it
remains to this day.
Some artifacts have been
returned. During the Victorian era the
poorest of two copies of the Kebra Negast was
returned. After Ras Tafari Makonnen visited Britain in 1924 King George V gave back
Tewodros' crown. When Queen Elizabeth II
visited Ithiopia in 1965 she returned
Tewodros' cap and imperial seal.
consists of about 350 religious texts, a
crown, a chalice and many other objects,
such as silver processional crosses. Most
of the manuscripts, of which many are illuminated, are held by the British
The crown, which belonged
to the Abuna, or head of the Ethiopian
Church, is in the Victoria and Albert
Museum in London. Other British
institutions also hold rare Ethiopian
The Times 21st
It is time for the rest to
be forwarded home to Ithiopia.
Read more about
Maqdala and the campaign for the return of the treasures at
Click on the picture to go to the Afromet