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Images of the Day
These Ancient Textiles Were Repatriated To Peru After Decades In Sweden
June 17, 2014
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Around 1930, 89 burial shrouds from the pre-Incan Andean civilization were unearthed in Peru's Paracas Peninsula — and soon smuggled out of the country by Swedish consul Sven Karell, eventually ending up in the possession of the City of Gothenburg. Now after years of talks, the shrouds, some of which date back almost 3,000 years, are returning to Peru. The first four, in the gallery above, flew back to Peru last week, and the remaining 85 will be following over the next seven years. Of particular note is the so-called Shroud of Gothenburg, whose frames are decorated with cats, frogs, condors, corn and human figures in some 80 different colours (it's believed to be some sort of calendar). "Across the world, the discoveries of textiles of this age are much rarer than any precious metal," Krzysztof Makowski, a University of Warsaw archaeologist who has studied the shroud, told AP. "If you wanted to find a Roman textile, you won't find anything because nothing was preserved."

For more on the issues surrounding the repatriation of antiquities, see this New Yorker feature.


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