Yale University to Return Machu Picchu Artefacts



5 thoughts on “Yale University to Return Machu Picchu Artefacts

  1. Thanks for the links Martin.

    This is a very interesting case which recognises the importance of repatriation in the process of constructing contemporary national identities.

    What are your thoughts on the repatriation?


  2. Dear Stephen,

    Fortunately i have never been involved in such cases as they are obviously very dificult. In my last mail i posted to english links. To get a better impression of what happens i read a couple of peruvian articles before answering. See for example the following link to the Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco, the institution that will receive the Yale University objects: http://www.unsaac.edu.pe/noticias.shtml?x=974
    The only reason i found mentioned for sending the objects back to Perú was that they are called cultural heritage. Everything has become very political it seems. Scientific research and accessibility weren´t mentioned as a reasons. But i´m of course not the one to judge.
    A very interesting alternative (at least in my eyes) – or even addition in the present case – developed during the last decade is the so-called “visual repatriation”.
    One such project can be found here: http://www.yupikscience.org/1intro/index.html
    A similar project between the Yale University and Universidad Nacional could visualy “repatriate” that important part of the history of Yale University and appreciate and esteem the work that has already been done on the collections while the actual objects are back in Perú.
    My two cents…


  3. Dear Stephen,

    This weekend the BBC and the New York Times published some interesting news concerning the returned Machu Picchu artefacts. A visitor Center called “U.N.S.A.A.C.-Yale International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture” will be built to house the collections. See the following links:


    Best regards,


    • Hi Martin,

      Thanks for the links.

      It seems like a successful way of working to ensure the safe return of culturally significant material to the country of origin.

      By ensuring security and accessibility repatriation can be of mutual benefit.


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