The 3.2 million year old hominid Lucy or "Dinkenish", otherwise known by her scientific name Australopithecus Afarensis, returned to Ethiopia yesterday (May 1) following a five-year tour of the United States of America.
Lucy was being exhibited along with other Ethiopian artifacts in a number of US cities during the past five years. During her stay abroad, Lucy was visited by more than 350,000 visitors in Texas, New York and California respectively. Upon her arrival at Addis Ababa International Airport yesterday Lucy was welcomed by the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dawano Kedir, General-Director at the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Yonas Desta, government officials and other experts including Professor Donald Johnson who discovered Lucy in Afar in 1975.
Lucy's exhibit will open to visitors in the coming weeks. In related news, a special visit programme will be arranged for African leaders in conjunction with the celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the OAU/AU. Lucy toured the United States following an arrangement with the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage in order to both promote Ethiopia's image overseas and offer Americans the opportunity to visit her. The exhibit associated with Lucy was called "Lucy: Ethiopia's hidden heritage".