The Peruvian Ministry of Culture hosted a presentation which featured more than 1,700 recovered cultural pieces that were stolen over the past two decades, according to the authority's social media page.
"The joint work carried out by the Ministry of Culture with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs makes possible that today we have 1785 recovered pieces, many of which return to our country, after long litigation and, in some cases, thanks to the goodwill of governments and public and private institutions," Minister of Culture Patricia Balbuena said during the presentation ceremony.
Paintings, looms, pottery and metal objects, which had been distributed throughout various countries in Europe and the Americas, were among the recovered objects on display.
#BuenasNews �� Today we recover the # MaskSicán, reported as missing in 1999. The Government of #Germany will deliver it in special ceremony to the minister @pbalbuenap. #ViveCultura
One significant piece is a Sican mask, which was recently returned from frequent offender Germany after a lengthy litigation. According to the vice minister for cultural heritage and cultural industries of the Ministry of Culture Luis Felipe Villacorta, the integrity of the Lambayeque mask had unfortunately been compromised.
"Our expert opinion showed that the eyes were false. However, German laboratories confirmed that the piece is original," Villacorta explained.
Another consequential recovered piece, a loom returned by the Ethnographic Museum of Leiden (Holland) of the Moche civilization, was created in Peru's northern coast between the second and eighth centuries.
Minister @pbalbuenap in an interview with @RPPNoticias to report on the delivery of property assets repatriated from different countries. He will also talk about other topics related to the sector. #ViveCultura
More than 1700 heritage assets were delivered to @MinCulturaPe, thanks to an articulated work with @CancilleriaPeru and embassies. Learn more in the following video. #ViveCultura
A religious painting called "The Creation of Eva," which was stolen from a church in the central region of Junin in 1991, is another noteworthy object.
Other important recoveries are the canvas of the Santa Barbara school in Cusco, recovered from the United States; the voluntary return of eight pieces of pottery by a U.S. citizen; the return of four textiles by the National Museum of Colombia; the return of 88 textiles by an Australian citizen; and the seizure of pieces by Ecuadorian authorities in Chacras.
Some 500 archaeological objects of pre-Hispanic Nasca, Mochica, Chancay, Huari and Inca cultures were also on display at the presentation ceremony.
Many of the over 1,700 pieces were recovered from mainly Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, United States, Australia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, some via black markets.
The return of the cultural items was brokered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"We are going to show in very concrete terms our identity, which is millenarian, multicultural and multiethnic," Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio stated, adding that the country has managed to recover more than 10,000 cultural assets since 2004.
"A constant task of our missions abroad is to counteract the effects of the illegal traffic of cultural goods, a network that operates on a global scale and especially affects countries of millenarian cultures like Peru. These mafia networks are similar to those of drug trafficking.”