This Inca mummy girl has been returned to Bolivia 129 years after a US diplomat took the relic away from its homeland.
The mummy was presented at a special event in the city of La Paz, the Bolivian capital, where the Minister of the Exterior, Diego Pary, and the Ministry of Culture, Wilma Alanoca, signed a delivery document of cultural goods recovered from the United States, Argentina and Chile.
Video Credit: CEN/@MRE_Bolivia
Pary told local media: “This case is probably the most emblematic as it is the first time a mummy is recovered from abroad.”
He said that in 1890 a US diplomat donated the mummy to Michigan University and it was named “La Nusta”.
Pary said the mummy dates back to the Inca period which developed between 1450 and 1532, because of the characteristics of the materials and the kind of mummification done.
The girl is believed to have come from the town of Pacajes, in the department of La Paz and was extracted with a funeral dowry containing farming products and small stones. The cause of her death is reportedly unknown.
The United States Embassy to Bolivia wrote that they support the return of the mummified remains to Bolivia on social media, saying they were glad the mummy had been returned to the country’s National Museum of Archaeology.
Minister Alanoca said the mummy will be kept at the National Museum of Archaeology along with other recovered items, where they will undergo laboratory tests.
She said: “This repatriation is historical because we are not only repatriating cultural items, but also an ancestral body. This is opening other things to keep on investigating.”
The minister said there will be an exhibition with all the recovered pieces in November.
Pary said that among the items returned to Bolivia there are at least 42 palaeontology pieces that were seized in 2016 in Chile, when a Malaysian citizen wanted to take the pieces to the south-east Asian country.
An archaeological piece called ‘El Keru’, a kind of ceramic glass belonging to the culture Mollo of La Paz which developed between 1150 and 1450, was also recovered. The repatriation of this piece started in 2016 in Argentina and it was made concrete in 2018.
He added: “It is the responsibility of the state and our governmental duty to recover our heritage, our cultural objects that are part of the life and construction of our plurinational state.”
The video shows the ceremony where the objects were presented in La Paz.
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