Memorandum of Understanding

Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco-Yale University

Memorandum of Understanding
Regarding the

UNSAAC-Yale University
International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture

WHEREAS, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1983 declared Machu Picchu and Cusco, being places of unique significance to the Inca Empire, to be Cultural Patrimony of Humanity; and the archaeological material excavated by Hiram Bingham III at Machu Picchu must be understood in this context; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Alan Garcia Perez, President of the Republic of Peru ("Peru") has recognized the good will of Yale University ("Yale") which, in a gesture of friendship and in recognition of the unique place that Machu Picchu has come to hold for the people of Cusco and the Peruvian nation, has decided to return to Peru the pieces that were excavated by Hiram Bingham III at Machu Picchu that have been conserved and maintained in the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University for the last century; and Yale University will return such materials (the "Materials") in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Peru and Yale University dated November 23, 2010; and

WHEREAS, President Garcia has asked the University San Antonio Abad of Cusco ("UNSAAC") to be the depository of the Materials and has stated that he will request from the Congress of Peru a special appropriation to create a museum and research center in the city of Cusco which will constitute the permanent home for these pieces, and which will be coordinated with a program of research cooperation between Yale University and UNSAAC; and

WHEREAS, UNSAAC throughout many decades has demonstrated experience in museum management and archaeological investigations, for example in forming the Archeological Museum of Cusco, which was later converted into the current Inca Museum; and similarly, many notable researchers have undertaken investigations at UNSAAC with the participation of others from Cusco, thereby continuing the investigative tradition of Dr. Albert A. Giesecke, Rector of the UNSAAC in  his relationship with Dr. Bingham; and

WHEREAS, a series of meetings were held between Yale and UNSAAC in December 2010 to guide the return of the Materials and to ensure their preservation and the continuation of scientific research through a program of ongoing collaboration between Yale University and UNSAAC to be called the "UNSAAC-Yale University International Center for the Study of Inca Culture" (the "Center"; and

WHEREAS, Yale University wishes to offer its friendship and collaboration in the creation of this Center, so as to help lay the foundation for future research and educational exchanges between these two remarkable institutions of higher learning and the wider scientific community.


In this Memorandum of Understanding ("MDE"), Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco ("UNSAAC") of the city of Cusco, Department of Cusco, Peru and Yale University in the city of New Haven, state of Connecticut, United States of America, set forth their joint commitment to the creation and development of the UNSAAC-Yale University International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture ("Center").

This international Center, which shall be located in the historic center of the modern city of Cusco and administered by the UNSAAC with the technical and scientific guidance of the Advisory Board (described below in Paragraphs 1-7) will include three components: 1) a museum exhibit designed for the general public devoted to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, with a special focus on the investigations there by the Yale-Peruvian Scientific Expeditions of 1911 and 1912 and the subsequent study of the site and its remains by investigators from Yale University and UNSAAC; 2) a storage facility of approximately 500 sq. meters where the archeological artifacts (stone tools, ceramics, etc.) and organic specimens such as human osteological remains and animal bones recovered at Machu Picchu by the 1912 Expedition will be stored in appropriate environmental and security conditions, and 3) a laboratory and research area of approximately 500 sq. meters designed to facilitate collaborative investigations of the aforementioned collections by the signing institutions and visiting scholars. The Center will be co-located with other UNSAAC facilities that will include meeting rooms, offices and other spaces, as appropriate.

  1. The Center. UNSAAC and Yale wish to collaborate and jointly develop an international facility and associated programs designed to serve as a base for the display, conservation and study of the Machu Picchu collections as well as for the interchange of students, scholars and scholarship regarding Machu Picchu and Inca culture. Accordingly, they agree to establish the Center, to be located in the center of the city of Cusco on land belonging to UNSAAC, and to undertake the activities described below in Paragraph 4.
  2. Advisory Board and Lead Members. To guide the development of the Center, UNSAAC and Yale will appoint an Advisory Board, comprised of scholars from each of UNSAAC and Yale and from the community of scholars of international reputation in the study of Machu Picchu and the more general investigation of Inca culture in the Cusco region. The Advisory Board, shall initially be made up of five members, including two Lead Members, one from the faculty of UNSAAC and one from the faculty of Yale. The Rector of UNSAAC shall appoint two members, including the UNSAAC Lead Member, and the President of Yale shall appoint two members, including the Yale Lead Member; and the fifth member shall be appointed jointly by the two Lead Members. The Lead Members shall serve as Co-Directors of the Center, and the Lead Member from the faculty of UNSAAC shall be convenor of the Advisory Board.
  3. Activities of the Center. UNSAAC and Yale envision that the Center will provide the opportunity for a permanent display of the Hiram Bingham III Machu Picchu collection currently housed at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Yale is prepared to co-curate with UNSAAC scholars in scientific and technical matters and co-sponsor at least two exhibitions in the Center in its first five years, using funds which Yale, with UNSAAC's cooperation, will raise for the purpose. The Center will also provide opportunities for international scholars and students to conduct research on these collections and to advance understanding of Inca culture in the Machu Picchu region. Accordingly, the Center will endeavor to perform the additional general activities:
    1. Make available to visiting scholars the Inca collections housed at the Center and other UNSAAC facilities;
    2. Make available to visiting scholars the UNSAAC library collections and documentary resources at the Center;
    3. Maintain laboratory facilities sufficient for the study of the collections at the Center;
    4. Organize and host academic conferences on topics related to Machu Picchu and Inca culture;
    5. Maintain security measures agreed upon by the Advisory Board as appropriate for the protection of the museum display and the study collections at the Center;
    6. Maintain environmental conditions agreed upon by the Advisory Board as appropriate for the conservation of the objects in the Museum display and those in the study collection.
    7. UNSAAC agrees to make sufficient staff available to allow the Center to accomplish these functions.
    8. Those funds acquired through admission fees from visitors will belong to UNSAAC with the understanding that they will be used primarily to cover the cost of maintaining the Center.
    9. Help visiting scholars arrange their archaeological and other fieldwork in the Machu Picchu region and surrounding areas, subject to Peruvian law;
    10. Understanding that UNSAAC will have other funding sources, Yale will collaborate in fund-raising for the creation and support of Center activities.
  4. Exchange of Students and Faculty. Subject to review and approval of the Lead Members, and in consultation with the Advisory Board, the Center will host visiting students and faculty from Yale for training, individual research projects and fieldwork, and Yale will host visiting students and faculty from UNSAAC. The parties envision that this process will include, but not be limited to, a series of fellowships for graduate and post-graduate students, as well as support for visiting faculty members being exchanged between UNSAAC and Yale. Specifically, Yale is prepared to host at its expense a faculty member or post-graduate fellow from UNSAAC to conduct studies and research at Yale for a period of up to one semester in each of the next ten years. Decisions regarding the selection of visiting faculty and other fellows will be made by the Co-Directors with the advice of the Advisory Board, based on submitted proposals, and with consideration of available funding. Yale further is prepared to send, at its expense, a researcher to undertake research and collaborate at the Center during at least six semesters in the first ten years of the Center's existence. The annual programs of the Center shall be determined by the Co-Directors, following consultation with the Advisory Board, and will reflect an annual budget prepared and submitted by them to UNSAAC, and approved by UNSAAC.
  5. Loan of Museum Pieces. In recognition of Yale's historic role in the scientific investigation of Machu Picchu, at the request of Yale, the Center will loan a small number of pieces for display at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, subject to Peruvian law and for certain time periods.
  6. Website. The parties will work together to develop a suitable website to publicize the Center, with links to appropriate sites at UNSAAC and at Yale. Any website or other publication containing the name, marks or symbol of either UNSAAC or Yale must first be reviewed and approved by the applicable institution prior to any publication or posting.
  7. Ceremonial visits. To strengthen the ties between UNSAAC and Yale, UNSAAC will invite the President or other senior officers of Yale to visit the Center at a convenient time and Yale will invite the Rector or other senior officers of UNSAAC to visit Yale at a convenient time.

In Witness Whereof, the duly authorized representatives of the parties have signed this Agreement,

SIGNED by for and on behalf of the ________________ SIGNED by for and on behalf
Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco ________ of Yale University