Tuesday, November 16, 2004

One quickie item:

Antiquities Return! Italy Prepares to Return Prized Ethiopian Obelisk

Italy finally looks set to heal a feud with Ethiopia by returning one of its most cherished relics, the obelisk of Axum, taken by fascist invaders almost 70 years ago.

Final details of a plan to transport the 200-ton granite column from Rome to the holy city of Axum are expected to be discussed when Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi meets Italian officials on Thursday and Friday.

Ethiopia has had to build an airstrip to receive the obelisk, the most important symbol of the dawn of Ethiopian civilization, and a road to take it to a pit in the center of town.

"Talks are in the final phase, there are just a few things to check, like whether the road is ready," an Italian government source said.