Peru’s rich cultural heritage is recognized for its diversity, artistic quality and uniqueness. Machu Picchu is Peru’s best known cultural icon, but archaeological and other cultural sites are found throughout the country and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A prime example is Caral, recently recognized as the oldest city in the Americas, dating back 5,000 years.
USG support for cultural patrimony resonates powerfully with Peruvians of all social classes. Protection of Peru’s patrimony is a unifying cause that helps bridge class and ethnic divisions and our support of the nation’s patrimony helps to strengthen our bilateral relations with Peru. According to a poll, Peruvians take great pride in their past and rate their cultural patrimony (meaning pre-Columbian archaeological sites and, to a lesser degree, colonial art and architecture) as the second most representative attribute of their culture after Peruvian cuisine.
All USG cultural patrimony activities fall under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Cultural Property Protection signed between the governments of Peru and the U.S. in 1997 and renewed every five years through 2017.
Through the U.S. Congress-funded program “Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation”, the Embassy conducts an annual nationwide competition that has funded 23 conservation projects throughout the country for $1’846,824 since 2001.
The following are projects funded through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.
2001 | $22,275 to purchase preventive conservation equipment for 18 museums throughout Peru.
2003 | $23,085 for a conservation project for the pre-Columbian textile collection of the Lima Art Museum in Lima.
2004 | $25,660 for a museography and conservation project at the Leymebamba Museum/Mallqui Center in Amazonas.
2005 | $20,041 for the renovation of Chan Chan’s Site Museum exhibition areas in Trujillo.
2005 | $30,000 for the conservation and restoration of 49 colonial paintings at the Santa Catalina Monastery in Arequipa.
2006 | $22,575 for the acclimatization, conservation, equipment supply and promotion of the San Marcos Archaeological and Anthropological Museum in Lima.
2007 | $30,000 for cataloguing and protecting the National University of Huamanga’s Archaeological and historical collection in Ayacucho.
2007 | $14,182 for a physical security seminar and field work to design a safety plan for cultural heritage sites in Peru that took place in Lima and Ayacucho.
2008 | $26,514 to inventory and catalogue patrimony located in the churches in the historical center of Arequipa.
2008 | $ 29,910 for the registration, cataloguing and conservation of archaeological collections at the Sican Museum in Lambayeque.
2008 | $ 16,881 for the conservation and renovation of the archaeological collection at the Contisuyo museum in Moquegua.
2009 | $40,000 para la preservación de artefactos en la Fortaleza de Kuelap en Chachapoyas.
2009 | $21,600 for a physical security training and protection of cultural heritage sites in Ayacucho.
2010 | $31,170 Restoration of colonial paintings in Jesuit Church in Arequipa.
| $68,200 Restoration of Canal Rocas at Chavin de Huantar.
2011 | $46,336 conservation of archaeological artifacts at Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan.
2012 | $44,600 registration and conservation of the Paracas “Julio C. Tello” site museum collection.
2013 | $49,395 for the conservation and registration of Moche mummies at the Museo Cao, Complejo Arqueológico El Brujo, La Libertad
2014 | $82,400 for the conservation, restoration and museographic project at the Museo Arqueológico Samuel Humberto Espinoza Lozano in Huancavelica.
| $100,000 for the conservation and registration of mummies and artifacts at the Museo de Sitio “Arturo Jiménez Borja – Puruchuco”
2015 | $150,000 for the preservation of the Nazca Lines.
2016 | $125.000 for the conservation of the Trece Torres de Chankillo, the oldest solar observatory of America.