Cusco’s Casa Concha opens doors for Machu Picchu exhibition

Cusco’s Casa Concha, owned by the Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad de Cusco (UNSAAC), has opened its doors for two weeks to exhibit more than 360 artifacts from Machu Picchu that were recently returned by Yale University.

The artifacts will be displayed in two rooms in the Casa Concha, located about half a block from Cusco’s main plaza, state news agency Andina reported.

The opening was inaugurated by UNSAAC’s rector, Victor Raul Aguilar. In the first two hours of the opening, which is free for locals and tourists, the exhibition attracted about 100 visitors.

“It is exciting to know that these pieces have returned to their place of origin,” said Spanish tourist Ignacio Cloret.

The pieces arrived in Lima earlier this year, where they were displayed before being shipped to Cusco.  UNSAAC is building a new museum and research center for the artifacts at the Casa Concha.

In total, 46,635 fragments and artifacts were taken from Peru to Yale for research purposes by Hiram Bingham, an American historian sponsored by Yale and the National Geographic Society, during expeditions between 1912 and 1916.

The first shipment included 366 objects –the best pieces for exhibition– and 1000 fragments, while the remainder are expected to be returned by December 2012.

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