Following the Open Letter to Italian Prime Minsister Silvio Berlusconi by Professors Andreas Eshete and Richard Pankhurst, recently published in ADDIS TRIBUNE, and the revelations about loot from Ethiopia still in Italy, also published in this newspaper, Richard Balfe, a Member of the European Parliament has tabled questions in that Parliament.
Recalling that Article 37 of the Italian Peace Treaty, which became
effective in September 1947, which specified that Italy should return
within 18 months all loot taken from Ethiopia; and that the
Italo-Ethiopian Agreement of 1997 laid down that the Aksum obelisk,
looted on Mussolini’s personal orders in 1937 and erected in
Rome to commemorate the
March on Rome, would be returned within
the year 1997, Richard Balfe demanded the Commission to raise with the
Italian Foreign Ministry the matter of the return of the obelisk and
ask them to announce when the promised return can in fact be expected.
According to our source Richard Balfe also demanded if the Commission
could also ask the Ministry to make a statement on the return of other
articles looted from Ethiopia, and in particular when the Ethiopian
pre-war National Archives, currently incorporated in Italian state
archives, and the pre-war Ethiopian aeroplane
held in the Italian Aviation Museum, will be returned.