Precious artefacts returned to Peru and Jordan

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Peruvian artefact

The Australian Government today officially returned precious cultural antiquities to the Peruvian and Jordanian governments.

Nine cultural artefacts were formally handed over to the people of Peru, including fragile textile remnants, woven and pottery dolls and gold foil artefacts. Two miniature Jordanian pots have also been returned to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Ms Sally Basser, First Assistant Secretary, Office for the Arts said it was gratifying to see these valuable pieces of cultural history return to their home country.

“The return of these artefacts has been made possible thanks to the close cooperation of Australian and foreign governments, private collectors and commercial institutions,” Ms Basser said.

“Although many of them are very small, these historic objects are not only important cultural assets, they also give invaluable insights into each country’s history and identity.

“The international practice of looting and trafficking antiquities can lead to the permanent loss of cultural objects and their return is instrumental in protecting country’s culture and heritage.

“The Australian Government is committed to the protection of moveable cultural heritage – both our own and that of other nations.”

The Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 allows the Australian Government to respond to requests by foreign governments for the return of cultural property which has been illegally exported.

“Anyone seeking to purchase cultural heritage objects must ensure that they are accompanied by the proper documents such as export permits.”

For more information on the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 and on exporting or importing cultural objects, visit www.arts.gov.au/movable

Image credits

One of the artefacts, believed to be a Moche gold cup decorated with a design of a human deity.