Wars and negligence have caused the loss of a considerable proportion of the Ethiopian Church’s treasures and heritage. Over the last half a century many treasures have been illegally exported abroad. The Ethiopian Heritage Fund is committed to helping to return important sacred items to the Ethiopian church.
The Cross of Saint Yared, the father of the Ethiopian church music, which was kept at the monastery of St-Cyriacus of Tana, was stolen at gunpoint in 1990, and later acquired by a foreign collector who was unaware of its holy origin. Thanks to a picture taken long ago, the cross was identified and the collector, informed of the cross’ religious significance, agreed to return it. The Ethiopian Heritage Fund financially compensated the collector, and on the occasion of the publication of Treasures and Faith, returned the cross to Ethiopia in a presentation to His Holiness Abuna Paulos I.