Thursday, August 11, 2022

Dutch cooperation allows the return of Cultural Heritage objects to Peru

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H.E. Mr. Arjen Uijterlinde, Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Ms. Marisol Agüero Colunga, Ambassador of Peru to the Netherlands, signing the agreement.

In a ceremony held at the Residence of the Ambassador of Peru to the Kingdom of the Netherlands on 9th July 2021, the Dutch Government delivered 28 objects belonging to Peru’s Cultural Heritage. This was possible thanks to a concerted effort between the Embassy of Peru and the Foreign Ministries of both countries, together with the Dutch Information and Heritage Inspectorate and the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

After confirming that 28 cultural objects that appeared in a Dutch auction house were the result of the looting of archaeological sites or excavations not authorized by the Peruvian government, they could be withdrawn from the auction. Later, they were voluntarily delivered by their possessor.

H.E. Mr. Arjen Uijterli, Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Ms. Marisol Agüero Colunga, Ambassador of Peru to the Netherlands, during the handing over ceremony.

The returned objects belong to the ancient Peruvian civilizations Chimú, Chancay, Moche, Wari and Vicús, and it is estimated that they date from between 200 BC to AD 1476. The cultural objects include interesting ceramics with anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures and some pieces of sophisticated colorful textiles with various patterns. Interestingly, a set of ancient seeds were also among the objects that were going to be auctioned.

H.E. Mr. Arjen Uijterlinde, Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who handed over the objects, and H.E. Ms. Marisol Agüero Colunga, Ambassador of Peru to the Netherlands, who  received them on behalf of the Peruvian Government, coincided in highlighting the excellent level of cooperation achieved between both countries within the framework of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

Underlining the special significance that has for Peru the recovery of such valuable objects made by ancient civilizations that once flourished within its territory, Ambassador Agüero said “(…) the legacy of these cultures constitutes an immense source of pride for the Peruvian people. In that sense, we highly appreciate and thank the professional, timely and efficient cooperation of the Dutch government for making possible that these articles of cultural property can be returned to Peru, the land where they were created by our ancestors”.

Part of the returned objects belonging to the ancient Peruvian civilizations Chimú, Chancay, Moche, Wari and Vicús.

At the end of the ceremony, both authorities signed the corresponding act, formalizing the delivery. In such a meaningful year, when Peru commemorates its Bicentennial as an independent and sovereign State, this friendly gesture of the Kingdom of the Netherlands enhances the bonds of friendship and cooperation that characterizes the two nations.

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