Peru Gets $1 Million to Preserve Archaeological Treasure

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The World Monuments Fund announced Monday the donation of $1 million to Peru for preservation of the Huaca de la Luna site, the WMF’s biggest-ever donation to a project in Latin America.

The grant coincided with the formation of a committee for conservation of Peru’s heritage sites under the leadership of Marcela Perez de Cuellar, the wife of former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar.

“World Monuments Fund has been working in Peru for more than 10 years and we think this is the right time to establish a more formal presence,” WMF president Bonnie Burnham said.

She said that the WMF, which already has eight projects in the country, will now be able to more easily dedicate itself to their management and protection, and to identify other new potential projects in the country and the region.

Huaca de la Luna is one of the most beautiful monuments of the Moche culture, which flourished approximately between the years 100 and 800, and it consists of a series of superimposed platforms made with millions of adobe bricks on which impressive frescos that describe the people’s beliefs and rituals were painted.

Located on the outskirts of the northern city of Trujillo, Huaca de la Luna “is an important project and a good model for demonstrating how the disciplines of archaeology, conservation, and sustainable tourism development can all be integrated,” said Burnham in the communique.

The donation for the project will – over the next three years – help achieve the objectives of conserving and interpreting for the public the frescos and the main plaza, creating a visitor’s center, organizing archaeology workshops and training conservationists.

In addition, the WMF will support the addition of Huaca de la Luna to the U.N. list of World Heritage Sites, which already includes 11 sites in Peru.

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