In northern Ethiopia, in the once-great city of Axum, final preparations are under way for the return of one of Africa's most remarkable archaeological treasures.
The Axum obelisk, a 1,700-year-old stone monolith, measuring 24-metres (78 feet) high and weighing 180 tons, is returning home after more than six decades adorning a square in the Italian capital, Rome.
It was looted by Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in 1937 during Italy's brief occupation of Ethiopia and has been a bone of contention between the two countries ever since.
The Ethiopian authorities accused Italy of foot-dragging over the issue, while Rome blamed the slow progress on the difficulty and cost of moving such a massive stone between two continents.
The obelisk is the finest of more than 100 stone monoliths which stood in Axum, capital city of the ancient Axumite kingdom and birthplace of the biblical Queen of Sheba.
The obelisk in Rome is one of the tallest and most highly decorated
In the 3rd Century AD, the Persian philosopher Mani described Axum as one of the four greatest kingdoms in the world, along with Rome, China and Persia.