Cultural property in a global world : the trafficking of pre-Columbian objects from Peru in the U.S.
Agusti, María Elba.
Thesis (M.A.L.S.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references. The increasing trafficking of pre-Columbian objects from Peru into the U.S. is mainly caused by the conflicting arguments used by collectors, demanding their unrestrained acquisition rights of cultural patrimony; and that of Peru, demanding the preservation of the objects within its territory and protection of archaeological sites destroyed by the looting of those objects. This friction over time has produced inconsistencies in the national and international legal frameworks that regulate the trade of pre-Columbian archaeological objects allowing the rising of looting and illegal trafficking of cultural patrimony. The goal of this thesis is to formulate practical communications-oriented recommendations to halt this situation and therefore to be adopted mainly by the National Institute of Culture of Peru (INC), the governmental entity charged with protecting the country's cultural patrimony. My recommendations are categorized according to three strategic areas: awareness, prevention and partnerships. The first chapter presents the methodology used to gather current data at both sides of the problem. The second chapter is devoted to introducing the challenges Peru faces as the source nation of vast quantities of archeological objects and the steward of an overwhelming number of archaeological sites. It also briefly explores Andean civilizations and their production of objects. The third chapter exposes the conflicting arguments used by the group of collectors in the United States of America defending their right to collect freely in opposition to Peru's protection of its cultural heritage. It also explores the relationship between collectors, smugglers, looters and dealers of archaeological objects. The fourth chapter is an overview of the main national and international legal framework regulating this situation. It also includes the depiction of the different efforts to control the illicit circulation of objects implemented by the state agents in Peru and the United States. These are provisional recommendations that aim at presenting new options to be studied and considered by the government of Peru, the INC and public servants who currently defend the cultural patrimony of Peru. The hope is to open the way to further studies that will analyze the problem from a different point of view.
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