Argentina Returns 4,000 Stolen Artifacts to Peru and Ecuador
Argentina has announced it will return more than 4,000 archaeological artifacts to Peru and Ecuador.
The artifacts had been stolen and should be returned to their rightful owners, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said.
“We are doing something unusual, really special,” she said during a ceremony at the National Museum of Fine Art in Buenos Aires.
Cristina Fernandez urged other countries to follow the example.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to restore the cultural wealth of countries such as Ecuador and Peru in a world where such wealth has so often been taken away,” said the president.
“One can see in the great museums of the world pieces from Greece, Syria, Egypt, Asia and even Latin America, and which have not been returned.”
The announcement was made during a ceremony in Buenos Aires, in the presence of the Ecuadorean and Peruvian ambassadors.
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said Argentina was the first South American nation to make such gesture.
However, she did not specify when the artifacts would be returned.
In 2014, the University of Yale in the United States returned dozens of Inca artifacts.
The university had reached a deal in 2011 to return thousands of items after a long dispute.
The artifacts had been taken from the Incan 15th Century citadel of Machu Picchu by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1912.