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Peru Asks Yale to Return 40,000 Artifacts
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An artifact on view at Yale, this one featuring a face as part of the bottle's neck.An artifact on view at Yale, this one featuring a face as part of the bottle's neck.The Peruvian Government has asked Yale University to return all of the ancient artifacts in “The Machu Picchu Collection”  at the Peabody Museum. The objects were taken from the Incan archaeological site nearly a century ago.  

The artifacts – jewelry, ceramic vessels and human bones – arrived in New Haven under an agreement with the Peruvian government.  In 2006, Peru threatened to sue Yale to get them back.  Last year, Yale announced a tentative agreement with Peru, calling for collaborative stewardship of the artifacts, many of which would be returned.  But in the past few weeks, Peruvian scientists, historians and archeologists have spoken out against the agreement, particularly a provision that grants Yale the right to keep thousands of objects for another 99 years.  On Monday the Peruvian government submitted a counter-proposal. Details were released on Wednesday.

Now, Peru is calling for the return of all the archeological pieces.  But officials say they’d like to see joint scholarly research continue with the Yale.  No timetable has been set for finalizing a settlement.