Sen. Chris Dodd has weighed in on the dispute between Yale and Peru over objects removed by Hiram Bingham from Peru during the early part of the 20th century. Bingham brought widespread attention to Machu Picchu during a serious of expeditions, and he returned home with many objects, which have been in the possession of Yale, despite what Peru claims was an agreement to return those objects. Yale has offered to provide material and financial support for research in Peru in exchange for a traveling exhibition and continued lease of the objects, however that agreement fell through and Peru has sought relief in federal Court.
Yet now Sen. Dodd has offered to intervene. Though he says Peru are the rightful owners of these objects, he may mean these are items of cultural heritage which should be returned to Peru. “The Machu Picchu artifacts do not belong to any government, to any institution, or to any university,” Dodd said in a statement. “They belong to the people of Peru. I plan to work with both parties to resolve this dispute quickly, amicably, and return the artifacts to their rightful owners.”
From the AP story: “Machu Picchu has special significance for Peru and the entire world,” Yale said in a statement. “We look forward to a plan that preserves the artifacts and ensures their availability to the public and scholars to promote further appreciation and study of the rich cultural legacy of Machu Picchu.”
For background on this dispute, see these posts.
- John Christoffersen, Senator Christopher Dodd Says Artifacts Held by Yale Belong to Peru, http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=38572 (last visited Jun 15, 2010).
- In Peru, Dodd Works to Mediate Dispute Over Machu Picchu Artifacts | U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd, (2010), http://dodd.senate.gov/?q=node/5658 (last visited Jun 15, 2010).
- Cultural Property Observer, Connecticut Senator Sides with Peru Against Yale Cultural Property Observer (2010), http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2010/06/connecticut-senator-sides-with-peru.html (last visited Jun 15, 2010).