First set of Machu Picchu artifacts to be returned on March 30

This week Peru is to receive the first batch of artifacts that were taken from Machu Picchu nearly a century ago for research at Yale University, Culture Minister Juan Ossio said.

“We expect that the pieces will arrive Wednesday. They will be received at the Government Palace by the President and will then be displayed for six or seven days,” state news agency Andina reported Ossio as saying.

The archaeological pieces will then be moved to Cuzco where they will be studied and displayed in a museum.

The artifacts are to be housed at the Inca palace of Casa Concha, owned by San Antonio Abad del Cuzco National University (UNSAAC), where Yale University will also collaborate to make the International Center for Machu Picchu, which will include a museum and research facilities. However, among the thousands of pieces in the collection, only between 329 and 363 of the ceramic, stone and metal artifacts are considered to be of museum quality, while the remainder is made up to a great extent by bone fragments and potsherds.

In total, there are 46,632 fragments and artifacts that Hiram Bingham, an American historian sponsored by Yale and the National Geographic Society, removed from Machu Picchu almost a century ago.

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