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6:01 am - Tuesday June 25, 2019

Colonisers extend influence by giving back war spoils - BizNews

Colonisers extend influence by giving back war spoilsBizNews

CAPE TOWN — Throughout the ages, symbolism has had an immensely powerful influence on politics and society – especially when an object or item embodies a widespread set of values and beliefs. So it is that the return of two stolen locks of hair cut from the body of fiercely independent and far-sighted, unifying emperor of Ethiopia, Tewodros II, has been hailed as a major goodwill gesture by his latter-day countrymen. Raised to the status of legend through literature, music and folklore, Tewodros, died by his own hand rather than submit to English forces attacking his fortress in 1868. Forget that the conquerors took away a fortune in precious artefacts – it’s the return of the emperor’s hair in recent weeks from its pedestal in Britain’s National Army Museum that is healing century-old wounds. It all came after France’s President Emmanuel Macron publicly recommended that his country’s museums should return Africa treasures to their countries of origin. Across Europe, museums house African treasures plundered in various colonising military escapades. This may be the start of setting things right. No Brit wants to be outdone by a Frenchman especially when today giving back extends influence far more effectively than taking. – Chris Bateman

The Ethiopian king who shot himself rather than be captured by the British 

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