Priceless Ethiopian Crown

After more than two decades of being hidden in Netherlands the 18th century Ethiopian crown has being revealed.

After more than two decades of keeping it hidden in his Netherlands home, Dutch-Ethiopian national Sirak Asfaw has revealed an 18th century Ethiopian crown. He came forward in an effort to have it repatriated to his home country now that it is under a progressive regime.

Many people would find it unfathomable to house a priceless artefact in their homes for fear of thieves or the authorities, but for Dutch-Ethiopian national Sirak Asfaw there seemed no other option.

Asfaw became a refugee during the “Red Terror” purges that forced him to flee Ethiopia during the late 1970s. He went on to settle in the Netherlands where he housed multitudes of Ethiopians who were also escaping the country’s tumultuous environment.


It is in this situation that in April 1998, while searching for a document, Sirak stumbled upon one of Ethiopia’s most important religious artefacts, in a suitcase left behind by one of his visitors.

“I looked into the suitcase and saw something really amazing and I thought ‘this is not right. This has been stolen. This should not be here. This belongs to Ethiopia,” he said.

Intuitively knowing the crown’s fate was of monumental importance, Asfaw sought advice from his fellow countrymen online and deducted that the crown could not be handed over to the Dutch authorities who may claim it nor return it to the regime that had failed to guard it.

“I knew if I gave it back, it would just disappear again”, he told AFP.

Asfaw kept the crown safely in his apartment for over two decades before finally contacting Dutch Art detective, Arthur Brand for support in finding a solution. The Ethiopian patriot felt it was the right time for the crown to be repatriated now that progressive Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is in office.

The crown in question is one of only 20 created and amongst those is one of the most valuable. Made of gilded copper the crown has images of the Holy Trinity and Twelve Apostles.

Read more at This Is Africa