Some 740 Artifacts Repatriated From France

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Addis Ababa (ENA) December 9/2022 Some 740 Ethiopian artifacts taken to France for research purposes five decades ago have been returned to Ethiopia.

The artifacts, that comprised of ancient stone tools and animal remains, are 10,000 to 2,000,000 years old.

Head of Cooperation of the French Embassy in Addis Ababa, Sophie Makamethe handed over the artifacts to Director-General of Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Abebaw Ayalew today.

Abebaw said during the occasion that the artifacts were all found in Ethiopia in the 60th by the renowned archeologist and paleontologist Jean chavaillon and his colleagues while conducting field research in the Lower Omo Rift Valley during the years 1960-70.

According to him, in 1972 a large collection of stone tools and some remains of animals and hominids were taken to France for research purposes since we didn’t have such equipped research laboratories here in terms of dating and other things.

However, after the Ethiopian revolution in 1974, the stone tools remained in France, he said.

Ethiopia and France have been celebrating the 125th anniversary of the beginning of diplomatic relations between the two countries, he said.

A photo exhibition was also opened on Thursday to commemorate the renowned archaeologist and paleontologist Jean chavaillon’s contributions to archaeology and paleontology research in Ethiopia.

chavaillon has made a lot of contributions to improving scientific knowledge in archaeology and paleontology, particularly in Melka Kuntere, which was his own finding, Abebaw noted.

“We have 10 of thousands of such collections, he said, adding remains of hominids and others have their own section so they will be properly coded and documented and also preserved,” Director-General of Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage, stated.

Ethiopia has a large, well organized room for paleontological and archaeological objects. Stone tools have their own section, Abebaw said.

Head of Cooperation of the French Embassy, Sophie Makame, on her part, said the research and scientific cooperation is another indication of the fruitful relationship between France and Ethiopia.

The Ethio-French collaboration and cooperation on heritage has been a corner stone of our bilateral relationship for almost a century. This has been blessed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, she said.

The 740 artifact repatriated from France were also present at the exhibition.

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