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File:Celebrate The Return of Axum Obelisk (Detail) (3172365788).jpg


This is a photo of the base of the model that commemorates the Axum Obelisk's return to Ethiopia.

On the left, the base of the Axum Obelisk rests on a piece of dark green plastic shaped like the Italian Peninsula.

Given the obelisk's outsized scale in relation to Italy, I suppose it's safe to say that part of the obelisk rests on Rome (where the obelisk spent 68 years), though the edge of the obelisk closest to the camera is nearer to Naples.

Ethiopia is represented on the right by a piece of red plastic in the shape of the country.

The white tusk-shaped marker running from Ethiopia to Italy bears the date 1929. Presumably, this is the date the obelisk left Ethiopia for Italy.

Above, the yellow marker running from Italy to Ethiopia gives a date of 1997 which, we assume, is when the obelisk was repatriated to Ethiopia.

But wait - doesn't my description under the full-sized photo of the model say the obelisk left Ethiopia in 1937 and returned in 2005?

It does! So how do we reconcile the difference? It's easy. Unlike most Western countries, Ethiopia doesn't use the Gregorian calendar.

Under the Ethiopian calendar, the year 1929 (which is the year on the white marker) corresponds to 1935 on the Gregorian calendar. And, indeed, 1935 is when the Italian government carted the Axum Obelisk off to Rome.

Similarly, 1997 on the Ethiopian calendar corresponds to 2005 on the Gregorian calendar, the year the Axum Obelisk finally returned to Ethiopian soil.

I wonder how many of these commemorative deal toys were produced.

Date 1 November 2007, 07:56
Source Celebrate The Return of Axum Obelisk (Detail)
  • Uploaded by Elitre
Author A. Davey from Where I Live Now: Pacific Northwest


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