Richard Pankhurst, historian of Ethiopia, dies at 90

2017-02-21 10:47


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa - A leading historian on Ethiopia and staunch advocate for the return of plundered artefacts, Richard Pankhurst, has died in the capital Addis Ababa aged 90, his family said on Friday.

Pankhurst died on Thursday of pneumonia, his daughter-in-law, Konjit Seyoum told AFP.

Born in London in 1927, Pankhurst first moved to Ethiopia in 1950 with his mother, Sylvia Pankhurst, a British suffragette and campaigner against the Italian occupation of the country during World War Two.

She later became an advisor to emperor Haile Selassie.

After his mother's death in 1960, Richard Pankhurst continued to live in Ethiopia on and off for the rest of his life, lecturing at a university in the capital and pushing the governments of Britain and Italy to hand over artefacts they had taken from the country.

"He was a good friend of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people," foreign ministry spokesperson Tewolde Mulugeta told AFP.

A teacher and author of more than 25 books and hundreds of articles, Pankhurst founded the Institute of Ethiopia Studies at Addis Ababa University.

He left Ethiopia in 1976 and joined the London School of Economics as a research fellow, before returning in 1987.

Pankhurst became well-known for his calls to repatriate relics plundered by the Italian occupiers and British army.

He lobbied hard to recuperate the Axum obelisk which was looted by the army of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1937 and was eventually returned to Ethiopia in 2005.

Five years later, an ancient prayer book that had been missing for decades was returned to the country by an American collector.

Read more on:    ethiopia  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.