November 15, 2010

Peru’s president demands that Yale University returns Inca artefacts taken from Machu Picchu

Posted at 10:51 pm in Similar cases

Peru’s long running dispute with Yale University continues, with President Alan Garcia making new demands for the return of 40,000 artefacts.

Daily Telegraph

Peru president accuses Yale of Inca ‘robbery’
Published: 4:42PM BST 28 Sep 2010

Peruvian President Alan Garcia has demanded that Yale University returns the archeological treasures its researchers “looted” from the country’s Machu Picchu site in the early 1900s.

Peru says Yale took around 40,000 artefacts including pottery, jewellery and bones from the site in the Peruvian Andes.

“Either we come to an understanding regarding … Machu Picchu, or we’ll simply have to describe them as looters of treasures,” Mr Garcia said on Monday referring to Yale University.

The artefacts were sent out of Peru after a Yale alumnus, American explorer Hiram Bingham, rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911.

The Andean country argues the objects were lent to Yale for 18 months but never sent back.

“Now is the time to start packing up the things and send then over together with the research. … Silence would indicate that they are guilty of robbery,” Mr Garcia said.

At the time of Mr Bingham’s find, the ancient city, now a tourist hot spot, was essentially forgotten, covered by thick forest in the mountains 8,000 feet above sea level.

Peru is dotted with hundreds of archeological sites and has struggled for years to combat trafficking of fossils and artefacts.

In September 2007, Yale agreed to return thousands of Machu Picchu artefacts to Peru.

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