World Bulletin/News Desk
Ethiopia is awaiting the imminent arrival of a decades-old statue of renowned Russian poet Alexander Pushkin – who allegedly had Ethiopian roots – from Russia, Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
Born in 1799 in Moscow, Pushkin, whose ancestry is claimed by both Ethiopia and Eritrea, is considered the father of modern Russian literature.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday that the Pushkin statue would be transported to Addis Ababa from Moscow "soon."
"It's a gift to Addis Ababa from Moscow," he said, noting that the two governments were currently arranging the logistics of the move.
The life-size, bronze statue has stood at the center Moscow's Pushkin Square since being inaugurated in 1880 by world-renowned Russian authors Ivan Turgenev and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
According to Mufti, Ethiopian and Russian officials discussed the process of transporting the statue during a recent visit to Ethiopia by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
"This will further strengthen the ages-long friendship between Ethiopia and Russia," the spokesman asserted.
Pushkin's grandfather, Abram Gannibal, is believed to have been born in Ethiopia in 1679. The son of an Ethiopian prince, Gannibal was kidnapped and taken to Russia at the age of eight as a slave of Russian Czar Peter the Great.
In Russia, Abram climbed the ladder of Russian society, eventually becoming an aristocrat.
Eritrea, for its part, claims Pushkin had Eritrean blood, since Gannibal is believed to have been born in an area called Loggo Sarda in the modern state of Eritrea, which seceded from Ethiopia in 1991.
In 2002, the Ethiopian government built a bust of Pushkin, naming a square and avenue – located near African Union headquarters – after the great poet.
Seven years later, Eritrea erected its own Pushkin monument, likewise naming a street after him.
In both cases, Russian diplomatic representatives took part in the unveiling ceremonies.
Last Mod: 08 Ekim 2014, 15:22