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The statue of Abune Petros is set to return to its original place above the light rail transit tunnel at Menelik Square. The statue was initially removed from the area on Friday, May 2, 2013 after the 34Km Addis Light Rail Transit (LRT) project started and temporarily placed in the compound of the National Museum.
Preparations to reinstate the statue commenced in December of 2015 despite initial expectations that it would be returned to its location back in October 2014. Contributing to the delay was the construction of the road to Dejach Wube, which passes above the rail tunnel. The cost of road construction including installation of the statue to its place is stated to be 113 million birr.
In the reinstallation project, the Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA) worked in partnership with experts from the Ethiopian Authority for Research & Conservation of Cultural Heritage, who were also involved in the re-installation of the Axum Obelisk returned from Rome, Italy. A newly formed committee also led the project with members from institutions such as the Ethiopian Culture & Heritage Conservation, AACRA, Ethiopian Railway Corporation and the Mayor’s Office.
According to the committee, the statue will be returned to its original place today with the finishing touches to the area to return it to its original structure.
The statue of Abune Petros was erected in 1941 in memory of the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, who was killed by Italians for urging the people not to submit to colonial rule.