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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Ethiopia: Victoria and Albert Museum's Ethiopian treasures; Battle of Magdala

Maqdala 1868 will run from 5 April 2018 to July 2019, in the Silver Galleries, Room 66. Admission is free.

Victoria and Albert Museum: Maqdala 1868

VandA's Ethiopian treasures from the Battle of Magdala - The UK's Victoria and Albert Museum has offered to return on loan to Ethiopia treasures seized by British troops 150 years ago, including an ornate crown, a royal wedding dress and a gold chalice. BBC News

Looted Ethiopian treasures in UK could be returned on loan; Victoria and Albert Museum director says artefacts could be sent to Africa on long-term loan, The Guardian

Victoria and Albert Museum chief Tristram Hunt rules out return of plundered treasures to Africa


See also BBC News, 2007

The Ballad of Kassa (Tewodros II)

Come gather round people, a song I will sing
Of Kassa the outlaw, who became a great King.
Raised up from the dust, violent and cruel,
They said he was mad and too reckless to rule.

But he was a great man, born ahead of his day,
To unify Ethiopia there was no other way,
Than to fight and to conquer, to torture or kill
All who refused to submit to his will.

Some called him ‘The Lion’, and he really could roar,
He was raised up by God to reform and restore
All that the Empire had once been before –
A land to be proud of, for rich or for poor.

He wrote asking for aid from the great English Queen,
He wanted advice to make modern machines;
But she never even bothered to send a reply,
So he locked up her envoys in a fortress so high.

The Queen sent an army to set the prisoners free,
Such cannons and soldiers, you never did see;
They captured the fortress, the battle was won,
But Kassa just stood there, and took out his gun

He would never surrender; he was a brave man and proud,
“I am still King of Kings!” he shouted out loud.
“Have you ever seen a lion just lay down and die?”
He blew out his brains without even a sigh.

Copyright JP. 1973

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