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ADDIS ABABA, May 2 (BERNAMA-NNN-ENA) — Lucy/Dinknesh, the 3.18 million year old Ethiopian fossil, has returned home after a five-year tour of the United States.
Representatives of the Culture and Tourism as well as Foreign Affairs ministries, Donald Johnson, who discovered Lucy,the world’s oldest humanoid skeleton, and Ethiopian Palaeoanthropologist Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged, were on hand to receive the fossil on its return here Wednesday.
Culture and Tourism Minister Amin Abdulkadir said Lucy, or Dinknesh as it is known in Ethiopia, and 148 historical and cultural heritages began the tour in the US under an agreement signed between the ministry and the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Amin said Lucy/Dinknesh was in the US for five year and visited by thousands of people in four different states.
The Ethiopian Consul in Los Angeles, Zeru Reta, said Lucy/Dinknesh contributed its share in further strengthening diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and the US and also enhancing people-to-people ties.
The Director of the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Yonas Desta, said the US tour of Lucy/Dinknesh had been successful with US$1.5 million collected from visitors during the period.
Johnson stressed on the need for the international community to become aware that Africa is the origin of humankind. Lucy/Dinknesh will be exhibited to African leaders during the celebration of the 50th Golden Jubilee of the African Union (AU) here later this year.
Lucy/Dinknesh was discovered in 1974 at Hadar in the Awash Valley of Afar.