It’s a major victory for Peru’s archaeological community, over four thousand archaeological and historical pieces have been returned to the Ministry of Culture, all the way from Argentina, Canada, Chile, Spain, and the United States.
The reception hall in the Ministry of Culture last week was buzzing with triumph and excitement as archaeologists and academics and state officials moved through the tables and pedestals. The Ministry put their newly-returned artifacts on display. They included Colonial Cusco-school paintings, prehistoric bones, Colonial hand-hammered coins, and prehispanic pots and textiles. In total, the exact number of recovered artifacts is 4,174 pieces from Argentina, 88 from the United States, 79 from Chile, two from Canada, and one from Spain. These were artifacts that were stolen from Peru and either sold to museums or lucrative black markets of antiquities. It’s taken almost twenty years to recover them all.
One case, the Janeir Aude case between Argentinia took 14 years all by itself, and included a mummy bundle.
The Ministry of Culture has been working closely with the Ministry of Foreign relations, and representatives and ambassadors have worked their tails off to recover artifacts from around the world. Peru deserves to have their history back, and no other country ought to hold the valuable history that these artifacts contain. They tell a valuable story about Peru, it’s the cultural identity of the Peruvian people, and they deserve to have it back.
More than 8,000 artifacts have also been returned home to Peru from all over the world in the past five years. The artifacts come from Germany, Australia, Bolivia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
One small step for the global archaeological community, one huge step for Peru’s.