John McLuckie, associate rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, is no Indiana Jones. But he did find an ark that has been lost for 130 years.
The Ethiopian tabot he discovered is a sacred representation of the Ark of the Covenant, and should be seen only by priests. The British Army took the relic after a 1868 battle with the emperor, and later gave it to the church. (The British Museum holds ten more tabots.)
McLuckie only recognized it because he used to work in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. McLuckie, who is returning the tabot to Ethiopia, didn't have to fight off snakes for his discovery; it was stashed in one of the cathedral's cupboards.
News articles about the returned artifact include:
130 years on, sacred artifact is back with rightful owners — The Scotsman (Jan. 28, 2002)
Scottish church gives back looted carving — The Times (Jan. 28, 2002)
Ethiopian artifact returning home — BBC (Jan. 27, 2002)
Church to return relic to Ethiopia — The Daily Telegraph, London (Dec. 6, 2001)
Ethiopian artifact found in cupboard — BBC (Dec. 6, 2001)
Ark relic found in cupboard — The Guardian, London (Dec. 6, 2001)
Related Christianity Today articles include:
Guardians of the Lost ArkEthiopia's Christians stake their identity on being heirs of Solomon and keepers of his treasure. (June 14, 1999)1
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