Peru recovers 79 pre-Hispanic textiles illegally kept in Sweden

AFP/The Local
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Peru recovers 79 pre-Hispanic textiles illegally kept in Sweden
Examples of the ancient textiles Sven Karell smuggled out of Peru in 1935. Photo: Sebastian Castañeda/AP

Peru has recovered 79 pre-Hispanic textiles that have been illegally located in Sweden since 1935, the ministry of culture said.


In 1935, Swedish ambassador to Peru Sven Karell acquired the fabrics hailing from the Nasca and Paracas cultures and took them to Sweden illegally – anonymously donating them to The Museum of Gothenburg, according to the Peruvian government.

"Thanks to the collaboration between the foreign minister, the culture minister and the city of Gothenburg, we are celebrating the arrival of the second of the three scheduled deliveries, made up of 79 textiles," said Jorge Arrunategui, deputy minister of cultural heritage and cultural industries.

The delivery included wraps, cloths and decorative textile borders from the pre-Hispanic Paracas culture, an Andean society known for their unique composition, colors and weaving techniques using cotton and wool from vicunas – the national animal of Peru, related to the llama.

The textiles, repatriated on December 7, were made between 700 BC and 200 AD and are among items the Swedish government promised to return to Peru in a 2014 agreement.

In 2008, the Gothenburg Museum of World Culture held the exhibition "Paracas: A Stolen World," prompting Peru to begin investigations and in 2013 begin the process of recovering the items.

The recovered goods will be kept by the Ministry of Culture's General Directorate of Museums for conservation, and displayed in 2018.

READ ALSO: Peru sues Swedish city over stolen artefacts


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