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Shipment of Pre-Columbian gold arrives safely

MEDIA RELEASE 11 July 2003

Delayed shipment of Pre-Columbian gold arrives safely in Auckland

An exhibition of Pre-Columbian gold and treasures so priceless it could not leave the country unless signed-off by the Peruvian President, has arrived at Auckland Museum after a week's delay.

The gold, which will form the basis of an exhibition on the Incas and their knife-wielding ancestors, will be unpacked today (Friday 11 July) at Auckland Museum.

Amongst the treasures are sacrificial blades used for the ritual slitting of throats and cutting out of victim's hearts, gilded crowns and headdresses. They will be accompanied by ceramics dating from 1200BC, which depict the ritual warfare, sacrifice, hunting and sexual practices of these ancient people.

Director of Auckland Museum, Dr Rodney Wilson, said the Museum was relieved to have the exhibition arrive safe and sound after a week's delay, as approval was obtained from the highest levels of Peru's government.

"Like many antiquities-rich countries, Peru has had a history of grave-robbing and black market trading in artefacts. Fortunately the finest of Peru's treasures have not disappeared and it is a selection of these which we will see at the Museum from next week."

Gold and Sacrifice: Treasures of Ancient Peru, was due to open on 11 July. It will now open to the public on Friday 18 July and close one week later, on 28 September.


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