Mummy deal wrapped up with Chile

Four Pre-Columbian mummies have been handed over in Geneva to the Chilean government.

This content was published on January 20, 2011 - 14:05 and agencies

The mummies, two of which are among the oldest in the world, were officially transferred at the Museum of Ethnography in Geneva. Among those present were the Chilean ambassador, Enrique Melkonian Stürmer, and head of the Federal Culture Office, Jean-Frédéric Jauslin.

The Swiss owner of the mummies had originally offered to gift them to the museum but the museum refused, pointing out their unclear provenance and suggesting their return to Chile.

The artefacts include two mummies from the so-called Chinchorro Culture (5,000-1,500 BC), one Pre-Columbian mummy of uncertain age and one from the time of the first contact with the Spanish. All four come from northern Chile on the edge of the Atacama Desert.

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