Yale University has sent the first shipment of its collection of artifacts from Machu Picchu to Peru, in accordance with the landmark Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Government of Peru on November 23, 2010.
"The celebration today in Lima reflects the unique significance of Machu Picchu and its heritage for the people of Peru," said Yale Professor Richard Burger, who traveled to Peru for the return of the artifacts. "Yale is pleased to be part of the agreement that has led to this historic day."
The initial shipment includes intact objects suitable for museum display along with pottery fragments and other materials. The artifacts brought to the Government Palace in Lima will be displayed over several days before being moved to Cusco, where they will eventually be exhibited at the UNSAAC-Yale International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture in time for the centennial anniversary scheduled for July 24. The Center will be situated in the Casa Concha, an Inca palace in Cusco. With its museum, storage capacity and laboratories for scholarly research, the Center will provide an enduring academic framework for the objects excavated by Hiram Bingham at Machu Picchu. Yale looks forward to joining with UNSAAC and others to advance knowledge of Machu Picchu and Inca culture and enhance the world's understanding and appreciation of their significance.
The remaining portions of Yale's collection from Machu Picchu will be returned to Peru in two stages. More materials will be brought to Peru in December 2011 and the final transfer will occur in December 2012.