vatican returns ancient mummies to peru

BARRIO – The Anima Mundi is a section of the Vatican Museums that preserves thousands of prehistoric remains, dating back more than two million years, from all over the world.

On Monday, 17 October, the President of the Governorate of Vatican City State, Cardinal Fernando Vérgez signed an agreement with Peru’s Minister of Foreign Affair, César Rodrigo Landa Arroyo formalizing the repatriation.

According to a statement from the Vatican Museums, these historical artifacts will be studied in order to determine the period of origin of the mummies. However, it is known that they were found at an altitude of three thousand metres in the Peruvian Andes, along the course of the Ucayali River, a tributary of the Amazon.

As Minister Landa explained in a meeting with the press following his audience with the Pope, the agreement completed achieved on Monday reflects the shared feeling that, more than objects, they are the remains of human beings that should be appreciated in the place from which they came.

The mummies were loaned for the Universal Exhibition of 1925, after which they remained in the museums. The situation became known several years ago, according to the Minister, and the Vatican’s willingness to return them was made concrete during the pontificate of Pope Francis.

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