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Art Repatriation Leads to Symposium

The return of a historical manuscript to its homeland will become an opportunity to teach at the University of Memphis, during a Symposium on Art Repatriation. From Nov. 19-26, Dr. Kindeneh Endeg Mihretie, repatriation expert, will travel from Ethiopia to Memphis to accept a manuscript that was presented by an anonymous donor.

Originally, the pre-19th century Ethiopian book was intended to be given to the Art Museum at the University of Memphis, but sensing the great cultural and scholarly value of the text, the Art Museum recommended the collector donate the manuscript to the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University. AMUM is working with Mihretie to determine the exact age and content of the manuscript.

During his visit, Mihretie will lecture on “The Role of Ge’ez Manuscripts for the Reconstruction of Close to Two Thousands Years of Ethiopian History” in a symposium on Saturday, Nov. 23, that will include other experts on restoring items to their country of origin. He will also lead students in examining the manuscript.

For more information, call AMUM at 901.678.2224.

picture of manuscript written in old Ge'ez dialect

Photo by Jason Miller, Art Museum

The manuscript is composed of several books ranging in date from the early 16th to the 19th century. It is written mainly in an old dialect of Ge'ez, which is why Dr. Kindeneh Endeg Mihretie was contacted because of his expertise with the language.

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Last Updated: 9/3/13