UK’s National Army Museum to hand over locks of hair belonging to Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia

18 Mar 2019

Following discussions between the Ambassador of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Mr Fesseha Shawel Gebre and the Director of the United Kingdom’s National Army Museum, Brigadier Justin Maciejewski DSOMBE, an agreement has been reached on the manner and style of the hand-over to the Government of Ethiopia of locks of hair belonging to Emperor Tewodros II.

Accordingly, both sides have agreed that the National Army Museum and the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia will jointly oversee the hand-over and farewell ceremony at the museum, in an inclusive manner that reflects the great love and affection in which Emperor Tewodros II is held by Ethiopia’s sizeable community in the UK and around the world.

Ethiopians, friends of Ethiopia and the media are cordially invited to a ceremonial hand-over that will take place at the National Army Museum,Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT on Wednesday 20thMarch 2019 at 4:30pm GMT.

On behalf of the people and Government of Ethiopia, Her Excellency Dr Hirut Kassaw, Minister of Culture and Tourism, will be present to receive the human remains from the museum’s Director on the occasion.

—ENDS—

 

Background

Born in Quara, near Gondar, Northern Ethiopia, Tewodros II was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 until his death in 1868. The locks of hair were taken from Emperor Tewodros after he heroically committed suicide rather than surrender to the invading British army in April 1868 during the battle of Maqdala. The Emperor is held in high esteem by Ethiopians who recognise him as the founding father of modern Ethiopia, as he began the transformation of the state. The Emperor is buried at the Mahebere Selassie Monastery in his native Quara.

Notes to editors

The decision to repatriate this item from their collection is made by the National Army Museum, who have delegated authority by Royal Charter to collect and dispose of property, including Museum objects. The decision is made by the Museum independent of any other body and the British government. See, https://www.nam.ac.uk/collections-development-policyfor further information (Collections Development Policy 1.7, Royal Charter 4(b)).

Media should contact the Ethiopian Embassy press office about filming opportunities and interview bids on 0207 838 3880/3.

For more information, please contact:

Gail Warden | Senior Press Officer | Ethiopian Embassy
E: gail@ethioembassy.org.uk | T: 020 7838 3880/3
www.ethioembassy.org.uk

Claire Blackshaw | PR & Communications Manager | | National Army Museum
E: cblackshaw@nam.ac.uk| T: 020 7881 2433 | M: 07841 535 588
www.nam.ac.uk

About the National Army Museum

The National Army Museum is the leading authority on the history of the British Army. It was founded in 1960 by Royal Charter and established for the purpose of collecting, preserving and exhibiting objects and records relating to the Land Forces of the British Crown. The Museum seeks to tell the story of the nation’s Army and of the soldiers who have served in it. It aims to inspire, educate and engage the public with its world-class collection.

 

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