LIMA, Peru – Peru’s president announced Friday that Yale University has agreed to return thousands of artifacts taken away from the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu nearly a century ago.
The artifacts had been at the center of a bitter dispute for years, with Peru filing a lawsuit in U.S. court against the school.
President Alan Garcia said the government reached a deal with Yale for the university to begin sending back more than 4,000 objects, including pottery, textiles and bones, early in 2011 after an inventory of the pieces is completed.
He said the agreement came after Yale’s representative, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, came to Peru for talks on resolving the fight.
Garcia quoted Zedillo as saying Yale decided to return “all goods, pieces and parts” that were taken from Machu Picchu by scholar Hiram Bingham III between 1911 and 1915.
The Machu Picchu ruins, sitting 8,000 feet above sea level on an Andean mountaintop, are Peru’s main tourist attraction. The complex of stone buildings was built in the 1400s by the Inca empire.