A Facebook personal blog account with more than 13 thousand followers shared a post captioned, “looted artifacts from Tigray are sold like this.” Under the caption is attached a link that leads to a News website called africanews.com.
The website posted a video on Feb 14, 2022, entitled “Tigray conflict: surge in ancient Ethiopian relics for sale”. By the time this article is published the Facebook post had more than 200 reactions and was shared more than 90 times.
However, HaqCheck investigated the video and proved that it doesn’t show looted artifacts presented on e-commerce websites for sale with a price of a few amount of dollars.
Therefore, HaqCheck rendered the post as False.
The Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Federal government of Ethiopia had been in an active war since Nov 2020. During the war, different important and cultural heritages were destroyed.
The Ethiopian government promised to repair a centuries-old mosque and a nearby church which were damaged during the conflict in the Tigray region.
Given the impact of the war endangering loss of such heritages, there were claims that Ethiopian ancient heritages and artifacts appeared for sale on websites including eBay, raising suspicions that they could have been plundered from churches during the conflict in Tigray, according to reports of a British online Newspaper The independent.
E-bay an e-commerce company has removed from its platforms a number of rare Ethiopian items. But still, there are a number of cultural and religious Antiques on its platforms.
The website video claims, the latest victims of the year-long war in Tigray are the country's rich artifacts, centuries-old manuscripts, scrolls offered on websites for a few hundred dollars and experts suspect that they have been plundered during the conflict.
HaqCheck found out that the video referred to by the Facebook post was first released on a YouTube channel on Nov 23, 2021, having more than 4.5 million subscribers entitled, “13 stolen artifacts returned after 150 years.” By the time this article is published the video had more than 5000 views. The video reports that after a century and a half away, 13 Ethiopian artifacts returned to their home.
Even though there are several claims that different artifacts are looted from Tigray during the war, neither the Facebook post nor the website video does not prove the claim.
Therefore HaqCheck inspected the post and rendered it False.