Peru v. Yale?

Even though Yale's had them for over 90 years, it looks like Peru has decided that artifacts from Inkan ruins should be returned. They're even going so far as to threaten a lawsuit according to the Yale Daily News:

Peru is planning to sue the University over Peruvian artifacts that have been in Yale's possession since the beginning of the 20th century, University General Counsel Dorothy Robinson said.

The artifacts, which were excavated from Machu Picchu between 1911 and 1914 by Hiram Bingham, class of 1898, include around 5,000 human remains and ceramics, according to the Associated Press. The status of the artifacts have been the subject of negotiations between the Peruvian government and Yale for three years, Robinson said.

"This is a well-publicized and well-known collection that's has been at Yale for 90 years," she said. "We have been interested in collaborating with the Peruvians to resolve this situation amicably in a way that would allow some of the objects to be displayed both at Yale and in Peru and make them available for study in both locations."
It's a shame that Peru feels it needs to take this step. The artifacts have been well cared for and preserved at Yale -- far better than Peru could have managed on its own. How this case goes could set an important precedent, considering how many museums around the world contain materials taken during the 19th century or earlier.


  • Ahh yes, what a shame!
    But what a sham that Hiram Bingham is not recognized as the pirate he became rather than developing his exotic discoverer mystique.
    What a sham that Yale Inc (for Yale University is but a small endeavour compared to the Endowments) cannot be creative in its response to a sovereign nation in a modern dilemma that calls for smart thinking.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15:29  

  • shame? how can you call that "shame"? shame on Yale that don't want to give them back what they legally own!! and why do you think peruvians can't take care of the artifacts better tha Yale? maybe at the time they were found, yes, but now? come on! The whole country it's a monument to humanity and they are taking good care of it!

    By Blogger Cholito, at 16:32  

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