Aksum Obelisk successfully reinstalled in Ethiopia

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Thursday, 11 September, 2008 - 23:00

UNESCO teams have successfully reinstalled the Aksum Obelisk in its original location in Ethiopia. The 24m high, 152 ton stele is the second largest at the Aksum World Heritage Site and has become an important symbol of Ethiopian identity. The 1700 year old obelisk was taken to Rome in 1937 by Mussolini's troops. Its reinstallation, started in 2005, was funded by the Italian government and has been the result of extensive technical planning from UNESCO and partners in both countries.

An inauguration ceremony is to take place close to the turn of Ethiopia's millennium which is set to begin on the 12 September this year. Ongoing conservation work on the stele will be complete by mid-October and the obelisk will be unveiled from its scaffolding by the end of December 2008.