Ancient Inca artefacts return to Peru

19th Nov 2012

Peru has reclaimed artefacts taken by US explorers from the world's most famous Inca site.

Machu Picchu is Peru's largest tourist attraction, with more than a million visitors every year. The world's attention was first drawn to the site by US archaeologist Hiram Bingham III in 1911.

He took thousands of artefacts, including more than 35,000 fragments of pottery, back to Yale University between 1911 and 1916.

The government of Peru granted permission for the items to be taken, but on the condition they would be returned on request.

Peruvian officials launched legal action against the university in 2008, arguing the items had only been given to Bingham on loan and must be returned.

Two years later it was decided the artefacts should be taken back to their country of origin.

The third and final shipment of artefacts has now arrived in Peru, where they will go on display at the Casa Concho Museum in Cusco.

Meanwhile, tourists will also be able to view objects dating back to 1000 AD, which were excavated from the site earlier this year. These will go on display at the Machu Picchu Museum.

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