December 2, 2008

Peru plans to sue Yale

Posted at 2:04 pm in Similar cases

The Peruvian government intends to Sue Yale University for the return of historic artefacts, following problems with the agreement previously reached with the institution.

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Peru wants Machu Picchu artifacts back from Yale
Peru wants Machu Picchu artifacts back from Yale

The government of Peru is moving ahead with plans to sue Yale University over thousands of valuable and historically significant artefacts that were sent there by Hawaiian born Hiram Bingham, the explorer and politician who rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911. Peru’s justice ministry has already appointed a team of lawyers to deal with the case however details of where the case will be heard remain unconfirmed. It is believed that the case will be heard in the US so as to be binding on the Connecticut University.

The artefacts include ceramics, textiles and human remains. ‘The continued possession of these treasures by Yale is reminiscent of the worst aspects of imperialism’ one Peruvian legalist observed. Others expressed concern that this case might open a can of worms in regards to colonial spoils sitting in museums throughout the western world. The British Museum has been the target of such court cases in the past, however none have succeeded. Hiram Bingham is believed to have been the inspiration for the film character ‘Indiana Jones’.

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1 Comment »

  1. Alex Tucker said,

    03.18.09 at 2:42 pm

    To whom it may concern;
    Hiram Bimgham was my Great-Grandfather,
    and as I was born In 1964; never had a chance
    to meet him. He was descended from the Puritans of New England
    and Missionaries to the Gilbert Islands; and also
    islands which later became Hawaii. My family has always been competetive on the Bingham side; yet all of them were taught good sportsmanship.
    Hiram IV taught me to play tennis when I was teenager. Before even hitting a ball,
    my Grandfather first taught me about sportsmanship (as he did with
    his eleven children). The most important thing Grandfather taught me
    though, was on our way to New Haven to pick up a cousin.
    On our way South from Salem,CT he began to tell me a story about
    the id and the ego, and as he went on to define them individually;
    I became fascinated by the idea that the ego can become so powerful
    as to overtake our being.This is what I see happening with regard to
    the situation between Yale and Peru.
    We as Americans need to set an example to the rest of the world.
    This case has gone on too long; and should be an embarrasment to Yale.
    Why are we holding on so tightly to these artifacts? Why are we drawing
    a line in the sand?
    Peru has long been friendly with us in so many ways, and yet
    we need to make these improvements before it is too late! Let us set the good example before our relationship sours. Our friendship is more important than
    to fight over textiles, ceramics, and human remains. We need to humble
    ourselves and give them what they want. We will get so much back in
    return. I was taught to know who I represent and to stand tall. Let us be proud and do the right thing!
    Yours Truly ,
    Alexander Douglas Morrison Tucker

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