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HomeNewsLombardia Restaurant, 90 years old, demolished despite court’s ruling 

Lombardia Restaurant, 90 years old, demolished despite court’s ruling 

  • The heritage protection authority said the building “is not registered as heritage”
Lombardia being demolished by the city administration (Photo : Social Media)

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA –  (BORKENA) – The 90-year-old Lombardia Restaurant, one of the historical edifices in Addis Ababa, situated near the Wabi Shebele Hotel, in Lideta Sub-City, Woreda 9, was demolished though legally protected to be maintained as a heritage.  

After fulfilling the requirements of being a heritage, Lombardia Restaurant was registered on February 15, 2023. The Federal Court of First Instance ruled the decision to the Addis Ababa City Administration Culture, Arts and Tourism Bureau, the Federal Housing Corporation and other institutions that delisting the building was illegal, the Weekly Amharic Reporter said here today.

However, the Lombardia Restaurant, which was reportedly built in 1934 near the Wabe Shebelle Hotel, which was then under construction, was demolished for the mere reason of clearing “the spot for development”. The Reporter said that the heritage protection officials shrugged off responsibilities saying that “the building is not a heritage”.

The Reporter recalled that when Lideta Sub-City made an attempt to demolish the age-old building, the Heritage Trustee Association along with the government institutions and the heirs of the edifice took the case to the court to prevent it from being demolished.

The Director General of the Heritage Protection Authority, Abebaw Ayalew who was approached by the Reporter for further explanation said by mentioning a criteria his office has set that a building should fulfil six criteria to be named an ‘urban heritage’. Therefore, based on the criteria, it was decided that Lombardia Restaurant does not meet the criteria to be registered as urban heritage, according to Abebaw.

As a result, though the building was registered earlier as a heritage site, it was removed from the list of the heritage site as it did not meet the requirements set recently, according to the Reporter. Abebaw said that although the age of a building is one criterion, “it cannot be called a heritage just because it is 100 or 200 years old”.

The Director General stated that the issues raised by all parties regarding the status and appearance of heritage in Addis Ababa are challenging. He said that the old edifice named Eyerusalem Building, which was recently registered as a heritage site, was not based on accurate information.

Therefore, Abebaw expressed desire that the Addis Ababa City Administration should start a new registration with the newly set heritage registration criteria.  

Therefore, the work will be done properly based on the guidelines in a way that helps to solve the problems, the Reporter said quoting the Director General of the Heritage Protection Authority, Abebaw Ayalew. 


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  1. This is not new.

    The new owner of Ethiopia Hotel adjacent to the restaurant had planned to demolish the hotel and the adjacent block to make way for a Five Star Hotel. The parking lot across that block is a notorious crime scene, including thriving market for black market foreign exchange traders. The restaurant and adjacent other buildings (cafe, grocery, and perhaps a book store) do not have historical values in my view, other than as reminders of murderous Italian occupiers.

  2. The above comment was misplaced since the original article referred to another block adjacent to Wabi Shebele Hote. Same comment applies to the block next to Wabi Shebele. A friend owns pharmacy on that block, and he had told me way back about the plan to demolish the entire block. The street where it is located is an emerging financial district and so the crumbling reminders of old Italy must give way to rapid transformation of Addis Abeba.

  3. This shows your lack of knowladadge about the subject itself and your baiesed toward the same. You are just ranting because you are not from Addis Ababa just like the goons that is adminstering AA and Ethiopia.

  4. I am not sure if this is not part of a deep-seated objective to erase everything reminisecent of the neftegna past from Addiis Ababa and start a fresh gada town called finfine in its ash????

  5. እኔ አዲስ አበባ ውስጥ ያሉ ህንፃዎች ሁሉ አይፍረሱ የሚል የቂሎች ንግግር አይገባኝም:: በኢትዮጲያውያን የታነፁ ቢሆን አንድ 10 ህንፃዎች ቢቀመጡ ጥሩ ነው:: ጣሊያን የገነባውንና በጣሊያነኛ የተሰየመውን አታፍርሱ የሚለው በወራሪ አልተገዛንም ከሚለው ጋር አይሄድም:: ከተማ ይፀነሳል ይወለዳል ያድጋል ይሞታል እንደገና ሪጄኔሬት ይደረጋል:: እዚህ ጋር መታወቅ ያለበት ታሪካዊ ቦታዎች ለምሳሌ በጀግኖች የተሰየሙ አደባባዮች ቤተመንግስቶች ቤተክርስቲያኖች መስኪዶች ቸርቾች ወታደራዊና እስታቴጂያዊ ቦታዎች እንዲሁም የንጉስና የመሪዎች መኖሪያዎች ሊጠበቁና ታሪካዊ ይዘታቸው ተጠብቆ ሊታደሱ ይገባል እንጂ የራስ እንትና ቤት የሎምባርዲያ ህንፃ ምናምን አይፍረስ ማለት ውድና በዘመናችን የብዘሀን የስራ ዕድል መፍጠሪያ የሆነውን የከተማ መሬት በአግባብና ለከፍተኛ ጠቀሜታ እንዳይውል መገደብ ነው:: ዘመናዊና አሁናዊ እሳቤንና ፍላጎትን ለሸከም የሚችል ከተማና ህንፃ ካልገነባን የጥንቱን ብቻ በመጠበቅ የሚሰራ ታሪክ የለም:: ድሮም ጣሊያን ናት ደህና ነገር የሰራችልን ዛሬም ቻይና እየሰራች ነው::


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