Thursday, July 3, 2014

Perú: Swedish Government Returns Ancient 2,000-Year-Old Textiles Stolen in the 1930

According to EFE, four ancient textiles more than 2,000-years-old that were returned to Perú by the Swedish government reveal the mastery of Paracas artisans, officials said.

The four pieces are part of a lot of 89 textiles that were in Sweden since the 1930s and which were returned to Perú last week as part of an agreement between the the Swedish and Peruvian Foreign Ministries. 

Among the items sent back “is a ‘calendar mantle," which is very singular because each of the figures is different from the others and the work done on it is exceedingly complex,” Culture Minister Diana Alvarez Calderón said.

The mantle is rectangular in shape with 34 zoomorphic figures of winged characters, birds, frogs, shrimp and fish, all completely embroidered in relief and which can be seen on both sides in colors of pink, red, black, green, ocher, blue, brown and more.

The figures were stitched with cactus thorns and even the borders have figures in relief, the Culture Minister said.

“It’s a unique mantle, the work they did more than 2,000 years ago is truly amazing and the degree of preservation is impeccable,” Alvarez Calderón emphasized.

Also shown to the press together with the so-called calendar mantle were a small poncho with bird designs, another rectangular mantle embroidered with the same birds, and a damaged fragment of a textile used as a headdress.

COMMENT: The textiles were taken illegally from Perú in the 1930s by a Swedish Embassy employee, who acquired them from a private collector and later donated them to his country, the head of textiles at the Peruvian National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History, Carmen Thais, told EFE.

Sweden will absorb the total cost of repatriation and President Ollanta Humala will receive Wednesday (July 2) the mayor of Gothenburg at Government Palace to thank her for returning the works.