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Machu Picchu, Peru | The controversy around it's 100th anniversary discovery

Monday, March 28, 2011 · Category World · comments 2


The magic of Machu Picchu, Peru and the Inca Empire has captured the souls of many travellers around the world. The famous Inca site located at 2.430 metres above sea level, often referred to as "The Lost city of the Incas" and brought to the worlds attention by American Historian Hiram Bingham, hs been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and voted as one of the 7 New World wonders in 2007. With the upcoming 100th anniversary on the 24th of July 2011 most of the artifacts - estimated around 43.000 pieces - excavated between 1911 and 1915 are still in possession of Yale University.

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Machu Picchu, Peru - Tourism impact

In 1981 the Peruvian Government declared an area of approximately 325 square kilometers as a "historical sanctuary" and the area also posses a no-fly zone. The impact of tourism to the site and mainly the uncontrolled development of the nearby town of Aguas Calientes has also placed Machu Picchu on the 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites.

Machu Picchu is the most visited site in Peru and the governments largest tourism revenue generator with some half million tourists visiting the Machu Picchu site every year.

Machu Picchu, Peru - Yale University, The National Geographic Society and Hiram Bingham

The second and at current most pressing issue around the upcoming 100th anniversary of the mytical Inca Site of Machu Picchu, Peru, is by far the collection of artifacts escavated by Hiram Bingham in the period between 1911 and 1915. The expeditions led by Hiram Bingham back then were funded by the Yale University and The National Geographic Society who spent their entire April 1913 Edition on Machu Picchu. And although Bingham went through all the proper legal channels with a signed 1912 agreement between Yale University and the Peruvian Government, it is the contents of the agreement, article IV and the exception made on a law banning the export of artifacts that has been the basis of the legal battle surrounding the return of the artifacts to Peru.

Sarah Nutman - Yale senior correspondent

After almost a century of conflict and in light of the 100th anniversary of the Machu Picchu discovery, the dispute between Yale and Peru over the artifacts seems to finally reach their end. Senior Yale reporter Sarah Nutman has studied hundreds of pages of legal documents and articles, as well as letters and journal entries found in the archives of Bingham’s expeditions. It includes the accounts from more than 30 conversations beginning in December, in Peru and the United States, with those intimately involved in negotiations between the two countries, those who will be responsible for the artifacts upon their return and those who just want to see the pieces come home. Based on her findings she has written three wonderful stories surrouding the century old controversy in "Returning to Machu Picchu", "Digging into Peru deliberations" and the final part 3 "Unpacking artifacts' future in Peru"

So what about visiting Machu Picchu in Peru

I have searched the internet and looked around for all kind of environmental friendly options to visit the Machu Picchu site on a future trip. Although I have found some interesting short 3-4 day tours I would probably pick something like a 9-days luxury Inca Trial to Machu Picchu or a 11-days Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca discovery tour. The last one would include a visit to the legendary Lake Titicaca where it is said that the Inca Emperors after dead where covered in gold and send out into the lake titicaca.

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1. by Kurt about 6 years

Great site you have put together here Ali and trlenalivg is one of your benefits you take from being an Internet Marketer.I love it tooBaz

2. by Nailson about 6 years

Patrick - Wow, stunning phoots! We are heading there in September to hike the Inca Trail. I am interested in taking night shots during the hike how I found your (amazing) one here via google. Do you mind me asking, what settings, focal length, exposure did you use for the night shot? Thanks


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