Yale returns Machu Picchu artifacts to Peru


After nearly 100 years, a large collection of artifacts from Machu Picchu will be returned to Peru. They have been kept at Yale’s Peabody Museum since explorer Hiram Bingham first brought back the items in 1912.

The antiquities were brought to Yale for scientific study with the understanding that they would be brought back to Peru whenever Peru asked.

Peru has been asking for several years, but the articles remained in the USA. Then, in November, Peruvian President Alan Garcia led thousands of protesters through the streets of Lima demanding Yale send back the collection.

The artifacts will return in several shipments over the next two years. Many of the best pieces will be back in Peru in time for 2011’s celebrations, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Hiram Bingham’s first trip to Machu Picchu. All of the objects will go to a university in the city of Cuzco, the former capital of the Incas, and then eventually to a museum and research center where they can be studied by scholars from around the world.