Peru, Yale reach agreement on artifacts

Nov. 20, 2010 at 9:21 PM
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LIMA, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Yale University has agreed to return to Peru thousands of relics taken from Machu Picchu nearly 100 years ago, Peruvian President Alan Garcia says.

Peru has contends approximately 46,000 items taken from the 15th century Inca citadel were loaned to the Ivy League school in 1911 and never returned, the BBC reported Saturday. The two sides have been at odds over the artifacts more than seven years sued the U.S. university in 2008.

Yale's promise to give back the pieces that include mummies, ceramics and gold and bronze artifacts follows a media campaign by Garcia and his government, the British network said.

The items went to Yale shortly after Machu Picchu's official discovery by the university's Hiram Bingham. But Yale contends boxes of artifacts were returned more than 80 years ago and only 330 suitable for display in a museum, the BBC said.

Still, Yale says it will give back all the pieces it has, provided it can continue to study them. They are expected to be returned early next year in time for the centenary of what Peru calls the rediscovery of Machu Picchu.

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