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An 18th Century ceremonial crown that resurfaced in the Netherlands after being taken from a church more than 20 years ago has returned to the church it came from.

Stolen Crown Returns to Ethiopian Church After 20 Years

Debre Medhanit Slase Cheleqo is the church in northern Ethiopia that had originally housed it.

It’s believed the crown was given to the church by feudal lord Ras Weldeselassie hundreds of years ago.

The crown was returned to Ethiopia last month , following a campaign by Ethiopian Sirak Asfaw who discovered it in the suitcase of a visitor in 1998.

Church priests told BBC Tigrinya that they wanted the artefact back in its rightful place rather than being put in a museum in Addis Ababa.

Their wish was granted.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people from Mekelle and surrounding areas flocked to Alula Aba Nega International Airport to welcome the crown home.

Hidden for 21 years in a Dutch flat, the 18th Century Ethiopian crown was stolen from Ethiopia in the late 90s.

The crown has depictions of Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit, as well as Jesus’ disciples, and was probably given to a church by the powerful warlord Welde Sellase hundreds of years ago.