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The cultural assets were handed over by the Bolivian Minister of Culture and Tourism to the Peruvian ambassador to Bolivia.
Bolivia delivered Thursday 10 pre-Hispanic pieces belonging to the Peruvian cultural heritage to the Peruvian embassy in La Paz. Among the pieces, were five ceramic works of art along with five pieces of textiles.
The Bolivian Minister of Culture and Tourism Wilma Alanoca gave back the cultural artefacts to the Peruvian ambassador to Bolivia, Jorge Lazaro, in an act in the Bolivian capital of La Paz.
The pieces come "from different peoples and cultures that inhabited the current region of Peru in a chronological framework between 900 B.C. and 1538 A.C.," explained Patricia Alvarez, director of Cultural Heritage in the Bolivian Ministry of Culture.
"The delivery of these ten cultural pieces representative of the pre-Hispanic history of Peru constitutes one more step that brings us closer, and commits us to prevent the illicit traffic of cultural goods," Alvarez said.
According to Alanoca, the five ceramic pieces were intercepted during two police investigations; the first one in 2014 at the Bolivia post office and the second in 2017 at the El Alto international airport, which also serves La Paz.
There are three pieces that belong to cultures of the Peruvian north coast, and a fourth to the pre-Columbian Cupisnique culture. While the fifth piece is an “Aribalo incaico,” a kind of spherical flask, and one of the most representative work of Inca pottery, the official said.
"The case of the five pre-Hispanic textiles of Peru deserves a special mention," the minister said as the textiles had been held by a cooperative in Cochabamba since 2006. The cooperative's leaders decided last year "to deliver the textiles to the Ministry of Culture."
After an inspection by experts of the ministry, and "in coordination with the embassy of Peru, it was possible to confirm that the pieces were part of the Peruvian archaeological heritage," Alanoca said.
Three of the textiles belong to the Chancay culture and two to the Wari culture.
"Bolivia performs these actions to return its archaeological heritage to Peru after coordinating the authentication of the pieces with Peruvian professionals and always under the corresponding legal framework," the Alanoca spoke Thursday.
The Peruvian ambassador expressed that the delivery comes as part of the fulfillment of a 1970 Unesco convention to combat illicit trafficking in cultural heritage; in addition to a bilateral agreement between Peru and Bolivia signed in 1998.
Lazaro praised the "archaeologists’ meticulous and detailed" ability to identify the pieces, as well as the cooperation between the different Bolivian and Peruvian institutions to successfully carry out the delivery of the pieces.
"The act reflects in concrete terms the level of cooperation existing between both countries," said the Peruvian diplomat.