The latest stage in an escalating dispute between Peru & Yale University , over Inca treasures taken from Machu Picchu, is an official request by Peru’s president for Barack Obama to intervene.
New York Times blogs 
November 3, 2010, 5:21 pm
Peru Seeks Obama’s Help in Dispute With Yale
By RANDY KENNEDY
Escalating a war of words between his government and Yale University, President Alan García of Peru has made a formal request for President Obama’s intervention in a long-running dispute over the ownership of a large group of artifacts excavated in 1912 at Machu Picchu by a Yale explorer.
Peru has argued that the items were only lent to the university and should have been returned long ago. Yale has contended that it returned all borrowed objects in the 1920s, retaining only those to which it had full title. In 2007 the sides reached a tentative agreement that would have set up a long-term collaboration and granted title of the disputed antiquities to Peru while allowing a certain number to remain at Yale for study and display. But that deal fell apart in 2008, and Peru filed a civil suit in federal court in Connecticut.
Last month Peru said it was also prepared to pursue criminal charges against Yale if the items were not returned. In his letter to the White House on Tuesday, Mr. García said it was only “just and necessary” for President Obama to step in. In a statement after the threat of criminal sanctions, Yale said that while it respected “Peru’s interests in archaeological material from Machu Picchu,” it also owed “a duty to academic and cultural institutions everywhere to recognize their important contributions to the study and understanding of all the world’s cultures.”