machupicchu
machu picchu, google maps

ahora en el new york times apareció un artículo sobre el conflicto sobre los objetos de machu picchu excavados por bingham y actualmente en custodia por la unviersidad de yale. el artículo es bastante extenso, por lo que, aún reproduciendo algunos párrafos, el post será algo largo:

“Leaving aside unfair comparisons to the jaw-dropping Machu Picchu site itself, the pottery of the Inca, even when intact, lacks the drama and artistry of the ceramics of earlier civilizations of Peru like the Moche and Nazca. Everyone agrees that the Machu Picchu artifacts at Yale are modest in appearance. That has not prevented, however, a bare-knuckled disagreement from developing over their rightful ownership. Peru says the Bingham objects were sent to Yale on loan and their return is long overdue. Yale demurs […]

At this point, the cultural-patrimony dispute between Peru and Yale began to resemble one of those bitter custody battles in which the adoptive parents painstakingly document how they have provided the child with a superior home while the birth parents, insisting that they never intended to give up their progeny permanently, seek recourse in the courts. In some ways, Peru’s claim against Yale mirrored the more famous bickering between the British Museum, which maintains that Lord Elgin rescued the Parthenon frieze from target practice and souvenir seekers, and the Greek government, which argues that a central treasure of its history was illegitimately seized while the country was under the colonial domination of the Ottoman Empire. The Peruvian case, however, featured a legal paper trail of documents.[…]

Unusually intact and well cataloged, the Bingham collection has great value to scholars of Inca life. In the ’90s, Yale researchers and visiting scholars began to apply up-to-date analytical techniques to artifacts that had been neglected since 1930. From ceramic styles and dental examination, they concluded that most of the people living at Machu Picchu originally hailed from other regions of the empire. Carbon isotopes in human bones revealed that corn, rather than the expected potato, formed the staple diet.[…]

For a year, beginning in July 2001, he [Garcia, representante de National Geographic] and other National Geographic representatives (with the active interest of Koechlin and Lewis) pursued that project [un espacio de trabajo conjuto entre la universidad de Yale, NatGeo y peru]. “We thought it was reasonable,” Garcia says. “Yale expressed very little interest in the proposal. Frankly, the attitude they took was, ‘Keep your nose out of our business.’ That probably is still their attitude.” Garcia, however, had his own business reasons to see the dispute resolved: the Peruvian cultural authorities, lumping the National Geographic Society with Yale because of its historic partnership in the Bingham expedition, were threatening to withhold promised loans of Inca mummy textiles for a National Geographic show. This was an ominous portent. If Yale persisted in opposing Peru’s claims, Garcia [representante de la National Geographic] wanted to make it clear that the National Geographic did not support the university.[…]

Garcia was losing patience with Yale. “It’s so patronizing of them to suggest that you can’t return these objects to Peru because they can’t take care of them — that a country like Peru doesn’t have competent archaeologists or museums,” he says. “Maybe if you were a colonial power in the 19th century you could rationalize that statement. I don’t see how you could make it today. Why not acknowledge that the title belongs to the Peruvian people and work out an agreement with Peru? You get out from under this horrible controversy with Peru and you are still able to conduct scholarly work.”[…]

…earlier this month, Peru told Yale that it was prepared to resume talks, with Housing Minister Hernán Garrido-Lecca, a former investment banker who did postgraduate work at Harvard and M.I.T., as its lead negotiator. “We have clearly stated that we would like to proceed in these negotiations, but first we would like a complete list of the pieces that were taken by Hiram Bingham in his expeditions to Peru,” Garrido-Lecca told me. “We want to have a friendly negotiation. In the end, we would like to have every piece in Peru, of course. But we would like to have a long-term relationship with Yale. We have a totally different attitude toward this matter than the previous administration.” […]

algunos comentarios al vuelo:

primero, que es increíble la postura del museo peabody de la universidad de yale. en efecto, si bien es cierto la cerámica inka no se caracteriza por su belleza, también es verdad que la colección ha servido para que decenas de arqueólogos en dicha universidad se formen como tales. es decir, el valor de la colección radica tanto como patrimonio como por su uso para la formación académica.

segundo, el argumento de la falta de condiciones en perú es insostenible. como bien dice el artículo, es propio de argumentos coloniales del siglo XIX.

tercero, ¿qué hace nuestro inefable ministro hernán garrido lecca dirigiendo las negociaciones? ¿no debería haber un equipo de abogados y una persona cercana al tema dirigiendo las negociaciones? (¿dónde estás cecilia bákula?)

sí, yo también te amo perú y también voté por machu picchu como nueva maravilla de la humanidad

actualización: expertos rechazan artículo del new york times

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