Century-old lawsuit for removal of Macchu-Picchu artifacts
Peru rejects the argument, saying Yale never owned the artifacts and that its claim is not subject to a statute of limitations under Peruvian law. Peru also says Yale did not assert ownership of the artifacts until late 2008.
"The artifacts are of immense cultural and historical importance," Peru's attorneys wrote in recently filed court papers. "Yale's mere retention of the artifacts establishes nothing."
The South American nation filed the lawsuit in December 2008 demanding the Ivy League university return artifacts taken by famed scholar Hiram Bingham III between 1911 and 1915. The claim accuses Yale of fraudulently holding the relics for decades.
Yale filed court papers Friday arguing the lawsuit should be dismissed because of a three-year statue of limitations under Connecticut law. Yale says it returned dozens of boxes of artifacts in 1921 and that Peru knew it would retain some artifacts.
"In the twenty-first century, long after everyone with any personal memory of the expeditions had died, Peru claimed that Yale had not returned enough of the artifacts and demanded that it now return any artifacts that Bingham had exported from Peru," Yale's attorneys wrote.
Yale describes the artifacts as "primarily fragments of ceramic, metal and bone" and says it recreated some objects from fragments.
Peru says the artifacts are composed of centuries-old Incan materials, including bronze, gold and other metal objects, mummies, skulls, bones and other human remains, pottery, utensils, ceramics and objects of art. Peru says the most important artifacts were never returned.
Peru has been pressing its claim to the relics for years, saying it never relinquished ownership of the artifacts.
In 2007, the two sides agreed to give Peru legal title to the pieces, which were to travel in a joint exhibit and then return to a museum and research center in the ancient Incan capital of Cuzco. Yale would have funded the traveling exhibit and partially funded the museum.
But Peru backed out of the deal because of a dispute over how many artifacts were to be returned.
Yale has said it was disappointed that Peru decided not to honor the 2007 agreement. The university said then that under the deal, it had promised to return all "museum quality objects" along with a "significant portion of the research materials."
"Other research materials — bits and pieces of pots, bones, and other small fragments that are similar or identical to countless objects already in Peru — would remain at Yale for a defined period, and would be one focus of Yale-sponsored collaborative research and scholarly exchanges," Yale said at the time.
The lawsuit seeks damages on several counts including breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraud. It says the monetary damages will be proven at trial and that each count "far exceeds $75,000."
The claim cites century-old government documents granting Bingham permission to excavate and remove the artifacts, but retaining ownership and reserving the right to request their return.
Peru says the documents show Yale was aware that Peru owned the pieces and knowingly violated U.N. cultural property agreements by refusing to return them.
Bingham is commonly credited with rediscovering Machu Picchu centuries after the Incas abandoned the site during the Spanish conquest. But in recent years, versions suggesting that other foreign and local explorers beat him to the site have gained currency among Peruvian historians.
comments powered by Disqus
nerriwy wang - 1/14/2010
Bridal retailer, Wedding dresses,Bridal dresses,Cheap wedding dresses,Inexpensive wedding dresses,
Cheap wedding gowns,Bridal wedding dress,Wedding website
Flower Girl Dresses
Party, Evening and Celebrity dresses – endless selection of styles, colours and the latest celebrity trends in the Goddiva boutique at fantastic prices
Mother Of The Bride Dresses
cheap wedding dresses
Dresses, evening, cocktail, prom dresses, formal gowns from eDressMe. Homecoming dresses and bridesmaid
- Could another English king be buried under a parking lot?
- Huckabee says archaeology supports the Bible
- George W. Bush's CIA Briefer: Bush and Cheney Falsely Presented WMD Intelligence to Public
- Unfinished film about the Holocaust made in 1945 to finally be seen by audiences
- Two-Thirds of European Men Descend From Three People
- Daniel Pipes calls the rulers of Iran "madmen" on official Iranian TV
- A Professor Tries to Beat Back a News Spoof That Won’t Go Away
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- Sean Wilentz is being called “Hillary’s Historian"
- Hundreds of British historians challenge assumptions of “Historians for Britain” campaign