September 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Peruvian president calls for artifacts’ return

If Yale doesn’t return the artifacts that explorer Hiram Bingham brought to New Haven from Machu Picchu in the early 1900s, Peru’s president, Alan Garcia, said he will consider the University no better than a common thief.

“Either we come to an understanding regarding Machu Picchu, or we’ll simply have to describe them as looters of our treasuries,” Garcia said of Yale on Monday, according to Reuters. If the University doesn’t respond, he said, “silence would indicate that they are guilty of robbery.”

Yale and Peru have been locked in a legal battle over the artifacts since April 2009. Peru’s newly-appointed minister of culture has sworn to make the retrieval of the artifacts his top priority.

  • aluminterviewer

    Hiram Bingham may have been a thief, but he was hardly “common”.

  • mikem

    True nothing “common” about a man that loots a countries historical artifacts and nothing “common” about an organization be it a university or private museum, that would take such a low brow stance as to argue law over items they clearly identify as incan artifacts yet claim they have some legal right to them. You are right, I would say both are several layers below “common”maybe petty would be a better term.

  • annwoolliams

    Although the language is highly emotive the fact remains…times have changed. In the days of the 1900’s the transporting of artifacts for scholarly reasons was acceptable. Now it is not. No matter the legal arguments; in this case, if Yale continues to dig her heels in, she will come out looking worse.

    New Zealand had a similar experience with France. France held shrunken Maori heads. Maori of New Zealand insisted they be returned for burial. And the French said ‘yes’. If the French can say ‘yes’ surely Yale can too.

    It may bewilder Yale that the Peruvian Govt cannot accept the artifacts are being held in higher esteem or higher regard or cared for in a environment perfect for higher minds to examine them. Peru might argue they are the experts in the field.

    I presume the more worrying thought for Yale is; how many more artifacts are to be lost to their places of origin.