By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Upon completion of the renovation of the National Palace, by mid-February 2024, the government is ready to open gates for the general public, sources said.
The Weekly Business Paper, Capital, reported here yesterday that to facilitate the full renovation process, all artifacts within the palace were packed and moved to an unspecified location.
The palace, which has served as the primary residence of Emperor Haile Selassie was originally named the Jubilee Palace in honor of the Emperor’s Silver Jubilee observed in 1955. Despite its status as an iconic national structure, the palace has never been accessible to the public and has been used exclusively as an official residence for the president and a spot to host presidential official events.
The renovation project, which is said to have been carried out through support obtained from the French government, will get its final touch in a very short period of time, according to the news source. The Ethiopian government reportedly secured 12 million euros from the French Development Agency (AFD) for the first phase of the palace renovation project.
According to sources, the seat of the current president of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia will soon be relocated to another place before the palace is opened for public visit. It was said earlier by the government that a new building, meant for the presidential office and residence, would be constructed in the northern part of Addis Ababa, around a place commonly known as shiromeda, near the US embassy.
The news source indicated that the renovation of the palace would be conducted in such a way that it will not alter the original architectural aesthetic and integrity of the edifice. However, comprehensive maintenance activities, including construction work, will reportedly be undertaken to transform it into a leading tourist attraction in the capital.
The first phase of the project which was said to cost 20 million euros, will involve the opening of the palace to the public. The palace administration reportedly supervised the process of the project execution with close support from French expertise. “French public agencies and prominent organizations, such as the Versailles Palace, renowned for their expertise in international technical cooperation, also contributed to the renovations”.
The National Palace is located downtown in front of the Africa Hall of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, adjacent to the main road, opposite to Meskel Square. (Borkena)
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