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YALE UNIVERSITY TO RETURN ARTIFACTS EXCAVATED FROM MACHU PICCHU

 

Culturekiosque Staff Report

NEW YORK, 18 SEPTEMBER 2007— In a joint press statement issued on 14 September, it was announced that representatives of the Government of Peru and of Yale University reached an agreement for the return of some of the archaeological materials the American explorer Hiram Bingham (1875 – 1956) excavated from Machu Picchu between 1911 and 1916.  The agreement also includes further collaboration in other aspects of scholarly and research interest, such as study of flora and fauna of the national park surrounding the archaeological site. Under the new framework, Yale and the Government of Peru will co-sponsor an exhibition that will travel internationally, featuring objects from the Hiram Bingham expeditions in Cusco and Machu Picchu, dioramas and multimedia materials developed at Yale. The travelling exhibit will be curated by Yale and Peru’s National Institute of Culture scholars and will include additional pieces loaned by the Government of Peru.

The Government of Peru will undertake to build a new Museum and Research Center in Cusco, for which Yale will serve as advisor, and where the proposed exhibition will be installed following its tour.

It is intended that the international opening of the new Museum will coincide the centennial celebration of Bingham’s rediscovery of Machu Picchu.

Yale will acknowledge Peru’s title to all the excavated objects including the fragments, bones and specimens from Machu Picchu. The Peruvian government has long sought the return of the more than 4000 artifacts, including mummies, ceramics and bones that Hiram Bingham had removed from the Machu Picchu site following his rediscovery of the Incan site in 1911. Peru will share with Yale rights in the research collection, part of which will remain at Yale as objects of ongoing research. Once the Museum and Research Center is ready for operation in late 2009, the museum quality objects will return to Peru along with a portion of the research collection.

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