Imana Gunawan, The Daily at the University of Washington
November 9, 2014
After four years of coordination, several artifacts from the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture’s Peruvian collection returned to their home country last week.
The items include human remains, ceramic vessels and bowls, necklaces, and a textile, each of which have different histories. On Wednesday, the Peruvian Consul General arrived to attend a private gathering held by the museum, during which the items, excluding the human remains, were exhibited before they were packed up and transported.
Over the past four years, the Burke has been working with the Peruvian government to identify objects in the museum’s collection covered under a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) convention that allows governments to designate significant objects of cultural heritage and protect them from leaving the country of origin. The convention, called the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, was signed by the U.S. government in February 1983, and prohibits U.S. museums from accepting objects imported after that year.