UPDATED 11:35 p.m. After nearly 100 years of disputes over the ownership of Inca artifacts, Yale will return the items found by Hiram Bingham III 1898 to Peru beginning early next year.
Reached after the Harvard-Yale football game Saturday afternoon, University President Richard Levin said he was "quite pleased" that Yale and Peru had been able to reach the "framework" of an agreement regarding the artifacts.
"But the details are still being finalized over the weekend," he added.
Levin declined to comment on how long some of the artifacts will remain in New Haven, but he said that all of the relics will ultimately be returned to Peru. He said the time frame for their return is still being finalized.
A delegation from Yale consisting of former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo, Director of the Peabody Museum Derek Briggs and professor of anthropology Richard Burger arrived yesterday in Peru to negotiate with Peruvian President Alan Garcia, Levin said. In the past, Yale representatives have never dealt with such high-ranking members of the Peruvian government, Levin said.
Peru sued Yale in December 2008 for the artifacts' return. Levin declined to comment on how the new agreement will affect the status of the lawsuit.
In a press release this afternoon, Sen. Chris Dodd, who expressed his support for the artifacts' return to Peru in June 2010, said the artifacts will be returned beginning in early 2011 and housed in San Pedro de Abad University in Cusco.
In the release, Dodd said he applauds Yale's decision.
"These artifacts do not belong to any government, to any institution, or to any university — they belong to the people of Peru," Dodd said.
The artifacts are currently at the Peabody Museum in New Haven.
An earlier version of this story quoted University President Richard Levin as saying the University and Peru had reached a "constructive agreement" regarding the Inca artifacts. Levin had clarified that a full agreement was not in place, only the "framework" of one.