Ethiopia: British Museum to Return Lock of Hair from Emperor Tewodros II

Tewodros II of Ethiopia in the 1860s.
5 March 2019

A British museum says it will return a lock of hair that the Ethiopian government considers a national treasure.

The BBC reports that the hair was cut from the head of Emperor Tewodros II, who died during the British invasion of Ethiopia in 1868.

His seven-year-old son Prince Alemayehu was taken to the UK and died later, aged 18.

The announcement comes at the end of commemorations marking 150 years since the Battle of Maqdala.

The so-called Napier expedition saw thousands of soldiers deployed to face Emperor Tewodros II. The campaign reached the emperor's fortress at Maqdala in 1868, but rather than become a prisoner, the emperor took his own life.

British forces left with manuscripts, crowns, crosses, chalices, religious icons, royal and ecclesiastic vestments, and shields and arms

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