Monday, September 25, 2023

Peru to Yale: Return Our Cultural Artifacts

We reported early last month that Peru was considering suing Yale University for the return of what it alleges are stolen Incan artifacts. Well, according to the Miami Herald, on December 5th Peru filed that lawsuit. The Peruvian Prime Minister defends this suit:

“The government of Peru authorized that the pieces leave the country on loan. Thus, Yale has no right to demand certain things in order to return” objects it does not own, Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde told Lima-based RRP radio late Wednesday.

The lawsuit, filed in Washington, demands that Yale return what it says are more than 40,000 artifacts taken by famed scholar Hiram Bingham III between 1911 and 1915. Yale University states that it would have returned the artifacts had Peru accepted some of the (seemingly imperialistic) conditions demanded by Yale, such as building a jointly financed museum that would meet “standard technical requirements for security and preservation.” It seems a bit odd that a U.S. university would be demanding anything of a sovereign nation, especially when it becomes an issue of cultural preservation and historical narratives.

More on this story from the Miami Herald.


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