By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – House built some 125 years ago and registered as one of the national heritages is to be demolished, sources said.
The age old house possessed by Ras Kebede Mengesha Atikem was built in 1898 during the reign of the then Ethiopian Emperor, Menelik II.
The big old mansion, located in front of Bole Printing House, was registered as a heritage and is currently used as the office and gallery of the Ethiopian Heritage Trustee Association (EHTA).
The Ethiopian Heritage Trustee Association, which was established 30 years back received the ancient house from the Kebele Administration. Then many households established their residence in the ancient mansion. With the good intention of the Kebele Administration, EHTA paid compensation for the residents who had been sheltered in the ancient mansion. Then after, the Association renovated the ancient mansion by preserving the heritage properly and started utilizing it as its office and gallery.
Now the story seems to be altered. Housing Corporation is compelling the EHTA to abandon the ancient heritage, built 125 years ago by Ras Kebede Mengesha Atikem and clear out of the mansion. It is a sad incident that “we are under pressure to leave the heritage mansion,” EHTA lamented.
EHTA established a natural park on 1,300 hectares of land at Entoto for the purpose of environmental protection and have been planting indigenous trees for the last 28 years in the area, which is now serving as a breath of fresh air for Addis Ababa. In its activities being undertaken out of Addis Ababa EHTA is designing and working on a project to restore the natural resource development in Ankober, which was damaged during the war.
Ethiopian Heritage Trustee Association, non-governmental indigenous organization, was established in 1993 with branches located in various towns. EHTA has played its role for three decades to the preservation of natural, historical and cultural heritages so that they can be passed on to the next generation.
EHTA is now calling on all members, caretakers and patriotic citizens to stand by its side and be its voice.
“He who has heritage has history”, EHTA says.
It is to be recalled that an ancient mansions of Dejazmach Amde Kassa, Ras Abebe Aregay and Dejazmatch Asfaw Kebede including the old building commonly known as Anbessa Pharmacy located between Churchill Square and Paisa, among others, were demolished in a not more than five years period.
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