An Ethiopian official says Italy has delayed the return of an ancient obelisk to the city of Axum.

Ethiopia's Ministry of Culture said the delay was indefinite. Italian officials cited lack of radar at Axum's airport and are awaiting clear weather.

The first section of the obelisk was scheduled to be flown to Ethiopia from Rome Wednesday. The roughly 24-meter high granite structure, believed to be nearly 2,000 years old, is too large to be moved in one piece.

Italy seized the obelisk in 1937 during its brief occupation of Ethiopia. The two nations agreed to its return a decade later. Monday's announcement marks the latest in a string of difficulties that has delayed Axum's obelisk's journey home.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.