Argentina Will Return 4,000 Archaeological Artifacts to Ecuador and Peru
Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced that Argentina would return over 4,000 archaeological artifacts to South American neighbors Ecuador and Peru.
“We are doing something unusual, really special,” Kirchner said during a ceremony at the National Museum of Fine Art in Buenos Aires, which was also attended by the ambassadors of Ecuador and Peru. “It is an honor and a pleasure to restore the cultural wealth of countries such as Ecuador and Peru in a world where such wealth has so often been taken away,” she added.
Kirchner said that Argentina was the first country in South America to perform such a symbolic gesture. However, she did not specify the timeframe in which the artifacts would be returned, nor did she mention what kind of artifacts were being repatriated.
According to the BBC, Kirchner also used the occasion to urge other nations and cultural institutions around the world to participate in the restitution of artifacts. “One can see in the great museums of the world pieces from Greece, Syria, Egypt, Asia, and even Latin America, and which have not been returned.”
According to Sky News, Kirchner even argued that “countries that hold on to cultural riches and refuse to give them back, at least should pay some kind of royalty to the countries they are from, since they were made by cultures other than their own.”
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