Peruvian Artifact Repatriated

12 Dec 2011 12:23 PM | Anonymous

Peruvian Artifact Repatriated

U.S. Department of Justice
December 08, 2011  Office of Public Affairs
(202) 514-2007/TDD (202)514-1888

undefined filed under: Art Theft, International, Press Release

WASHINGTONundefinedA gold Moche monkey head was returned to the government of Peru today in a repatriation ceremony at the Peruvian Embassy in Washington, D.C., announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly III for the District of Delaware.

The Moche culture flourished in Peru from the first through eighth centuries AD. Moche nobility were buried in tombs with important symbols of power, often made of gold. Due to the dry climate, the bodies and artifacts have been preserved through the years. In 1987, the royal tombs were discovered in northern Peru, including the Sipan region. Shortly thereafter, tomb raiders descended on the sites, looking for gold. They found it, including the gold monkey head (circa 300 AD). The monkey head ended up in a private collection in the United States. The collector subsequently donated the monkey head to the Museum of New Mexico, Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, N.M.

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