Surge of interest in Ethiopian culture boosts case for return of treasures, says Sissay

Poet who is curating country’s first Venice Biennale pavilion says ‘part of the heart’ of the country was looted and is being held in museums

An Ethiopian cultural surge – including a first national pavilion at the Venice Biennale and the rise of stars such as Ruth Negga and The Weeknd – is making the country’s calls for restitution of looted colonial-era artefacts harder to ignore, according to Lemn Sissay.

The poet and author, who is curating the country’s inaugural Biennale pavilion, where Tesfaye Urgessa’s work will be on show, said the event would be part of a significant cultural push from the east African country and its diaspora over the last two decades.

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