The Ethiopian Heritage Fund was started August 2005. Its purpose, working together with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido church and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is to aid the conservation of relics and to provide advice and education on their maintenance.
Its other stated aim is to raise awareness of these beautiful objects within Ethiopia and internationally thereby increasing tourism to rural areas. The Fund is entirely financed by donations and by those involved giving their expertise to the projects.
Ethiopia and the Church
Perched in the rugged highlands on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia retains a unique position as an ancient Christian civilization. The history of artistic production in Ethiopia spans over 2000 years. Artists and architects have produced a stunning array of religious artefacts: processional crosses, illuminated manuscripts, painted wooden icons and wall paintings.
These holy treasures have a very special purpose in the Divine Worship service of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido church. They are mainly cared for by monks and priests and stored in church treasuries often in remote districts. The dry climate of the mountains has been a great aid to maintaining the condition of the artefacts but inevitably many of them now need restoring in order to save them for future generations.
News and Events
Ethiopia and the Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity: The Garima Gospels in Context
A two-day conference sponsored by the Ethiopian Heritage Fund
at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies
University of Oxford was held on 2-3 November 2013.
Research presented at the Conference by Jacques Mercier suggests that the first Christian manuscript art may have come from Ethiopia.
Lalibela book published
Lalibela : Wonder of Ethiopia The Monolithic Churches and their Treasures
By Jacques Mercier and Claude Lepage
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lalibela is one of the most extraordinary places in the world. It contains thirteen churches, dating back to 12th century, hewn from rock in imitation of buildings.
This is the first book to focus on this extraordinary site in all its many dimensions – historical and cultural, archaeological, architectural, art historical and documentary and has proved to be a fascinating detective story. Funded by Ethiopian Heritage Fund, and Published in association with Paul Holberton Publishing, London. Read more
Read Philip Marsden's review in the Spectator Magazine
Read Thomas Packenham's review in the Burlington Magazine
Read Jacopo Gnisci's review in the SOAS Journal of research