“Ethiopia as well as all African countries should issue international arrest warrants against British officials if they refuse to return everything their bloodthirsty colonizers pillaged,” said Rael, founder and leader of the International Raelian Movement.
In an official statement released today, Rael said he had just read a report in The Independent on Sunday concerning the future of 400 irreplaceable items, including an 18-carat Ethiopian royal crown, that were stolen from Ethiopia during a battle 140 years ago. During the battle, British soldiers massacred hundreds of poorly armed Ethiopians. They then looted the area surrounding the Fortress of Magdala, as well as the citadel itself.The Independent on Sunday’s Nov. 23 news report stated that Ethiopia’s President Girma Wolde-Giorgis wrote in February to the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Library and the Cambridge University Library, asking for restitution of the artifacts, also known as “the treasures of Magdala.” Many of the items, including altar slabs called tabots, ancient Christian manuscripts and many gold and silver crosses, are of great religious significance to Ethiopians.
Rael said the position of many museum administrators that such items should remain in Britain so the public can see them is unconscionable and just plain wrong.
“They don’t have the right to even open their mouths to argue it’s better for the public interest that these African artifacts stay in the U.K.,” he said. “It’s the fundamental right of the African people to have these items back, and to not display them at all if they so choose. Since these items belong to them, it’s also their right to do whatever they want with them. They shouldn’t have to explain such decisions to the descendants of the bloodthirsty colonizers. For the British to think they have the right to determine what will become of the returned items is proof that the colonizer mindset persists even today.”
Rael added that the museums now displaying the items owe considerable financial compensation to the true owners in Africa.
“They should have to pay huge monetary damages for their illicit use of these objects,” he said. “They’ve been cashing in on these treasures for years by charging entrance fees to see them. And the time to return them is long overdue. Therefore, in addition to the damages, an additional large financial penalty should be assessed for each additional day the objects aren’t returned.”
Rael sent his personal support to Ethiopian government officials and proposed them to sue UK officials. “Just like the French government was able to issue an international arrest warrant against Rwanda’s officials, the same international laws should apply in this case –since keeping knowingly a stolen object is an international crime- and Ethiopia as well as all robbed African countries should not only ask for a huge daily damage for each day the items are not returned but also issue an international arrest warrant against the museum director for receiving stolen goods” he concluded.
Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world and has yielded some of humanity’s oldest traces. The Ethiopian dynasty has a direct line of descent from King Salomon and the Bible version used in Ethiopia, called Kebra Negast, that dates back to the time of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, is of particular interest to Raelians since it contains clear descriptions of spacecrafts used by the gods, and of their occupants, Humanity’s creators, as described by the Raelian philosophy.