Ethiopia has secured a commitment from Britain to repatriate the remains of Emperor Tewodros II, a statement from its embassy in London confirmed on Monday.
The statement said Addis Ababa was commending the unanimous decision by the Trustees of the National Army Museum in the UK to return locks of hair belonging to Emperor Tewodros II.
The locks were removed by a member of the British Expeditionary Force led by Field Marshal Robert Cornelius Napier after the emperor chose to commit suicide rather than surrender at the battle of Maqdala in 1868.
The Ethiopian embassy in London is set to hold talks with the National Army Museum on Thursday over the repatriation of the hair.
“This exemplary gesture of goodwill by the National Army Museum - coming as it does at the end of a year-long commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Maqdala – signifies the dawn of a new level of shared understanding in our complex history. It is also a reflection of the longstanding ties between Ethiopia and the UK, based on a spirit of partnership and the principle of mutual benefit” its statement said.
It said the locks of hair represent to Ethiopians the remains of one of the country’s most revered and beloved leaders.
The embassy said a show of jubilant euphoria will greet the expected return of the hair to its rightful home in Ethiopia.