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RE: Axum obelisk
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The reinstallation of the Aksum Obelisk

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The final piece of the Obelisk of Axum was returned to Ethiopia on the 25th April, 2005



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Obelisk of Axum
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The runway at Axum airport was then upgraded especially to facilitate the return of the stele. The dismantled stele remained sitting in a warehouse near Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport, until 19 April 2005 when the middle piece was repatriated by use of an Antonov An-124, amidst much local celebration. The second piece was returned on 22 April 2005, with the final piece returned on 25 April 2005.
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Queen of Sheba
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UCLA event explores quest for historic Queen of Sheba on April 3

If she actually existed, the Queen of Sheba may have been African. Then again, she could have been Arab. While she may have been from Yemen, near today's city of Ma'rib, she probably was also active in Ethiopia, near the modern city of Aksum.
But so far, archaeologists have not found a tomb, palace or temple that can be definitively attributed to the prominent figure from the Hebrew Bible and the Quran.

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Ethiopia is celebrating the unveiling of the reassembled Axum obelisk, one of the country's greatest treasures.
The obelisk, at least 1,700 years old, was looted by Italian troops in the 1930s and returned to Ethiopia in 2005.
A giant Ethiopian flag was removed from the obelisk in front of what organisers said was a crowd of tens of thousands in the ancient northern town of Axum.

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The slender stone columns which mark the tombs of ancient kings and nobles still stand in a green field at the edge of the modern town of Axum.
But these days the site is dominated by a huge tower of scaffolding, topped by a yellow mobile crane, which dwarfs King Ezana's obelisk, the one royal monument still standing.

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Ethiopia on Wednesday began work to relocate the famed Axum obelisk at its original site, seven decades after the 1,700-year-old treasure was removed by Italian troops, a UN expert said.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has overseen a multi-million-dollar operation to restore the obelisk in Axum in northern Ethiopia, where it once stood alongside around 100 other stelae.

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Ark of the Covenant
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German archaeologists have claimed to have found one of the fabled resting places of the Ark of the Covenant, the chest holding the Ten Commandments which gave the ancient Israelites their power.
The University of Hamburg say its researchers have found the remains of the 10th century BC palace of the Queen of Sheba in Axum, Ethiopia, and an altar which at one time reputedly held the precious treasure.

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Axum obelisk
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Plundered in the middle of Italy's 1933-1941 occupation, the 160-tonne obelisk was raised in Rome by Benito Mussolini as a symbol of the fascist victory against Ethiopia.

Ethiopia's 1,700 year-old obelisk, returned to the country 14 months ago, will be re-erected after the rainy season that ends in September, the UN agency in charge of culture said on Monday.
Stolen by Italian fascist invaders in the 1930s, the Ethiopian national treasure was returned in April 2005, but has remained in boxes awaiting re-installation at its original site in Axum, once the centre of a powerful trading empire.

"Everything needed to re-erect the obelisk including funding and technical experts are ready. But re-erection will have to wait until the end of the rainy season which goes up to the end of September" - Awad Elhassan, the UN Educational, Science and Cultural Organisationís (UNESCO), representative.

Plundered in the middle of Italy's 1933-1941 occupation, the 160-tonne obelisk was raised in Rome by Benito Mussolini as a symbol of the fascist victory against Ethiopia.
Three pieces of the 24-meter obelisk are still lying in metal shipping cradles in a field with more than 120 other similar funeral monuments in Axum, 850 km (530 miles) north of the capital Addis Ababa.
Awad said the re-erection of the obelisk at its original site would not damage newly discovered underground funeral chambers and royal arcades used by several dynasties before the Christian era.
A thousand years before Christ, Axum was the city of the legendary Queen of Sheba and the heart of the Axumite civilisation, one of the greatest in the ancient world.
Ethiopians see themselves as the descendants this kingdom.
Legend has it that God bestowed his favours on the city after the queen's son Menelik I stole the Ark of the Covenant from his father King Solomon in Jerusalem and took it to Axum, where many Ethiopians believe it remains.

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