Art dispute center of tonight’s Bruce lecture

People around the world love and appreciate art, but not many know the controversies and sometimes extremely personal fights behind possession of collections.

On Sept. 20, Yale professor Richard Burger will discuss Machu Picchu and the controversy surrounding this famous site at the Bruce Museum.

The Resolution of the Yale-Peru Dispute over the Machu Picchu Collections: An Insider’s Account will be the subject of Dr. Burger’s lecture on Thursday, Sept. 20, 8 p.m., at the Bruce Museum.

The talk is sponsored by the Archaeological Associates of Greenwich (AAG) and is free to its members. Bruce Museum members and students with ID will be admitted for $15 to the public at the door. More information is at

Dr. Burger will briefly review the discovery of Machu Picchu, Bingham’s excavations of 1912 and the history of the dispute over the collections brought to the Peabody Museum.

Then he will describe how what seemed to be an intractable disagreement was overcome through negotiations and turned into a positive development for both Yale and Peru. The character of the agreement is innovative and places the return of Machu Picchu artifacts within a framework of educational collaboration and joint research between the University of Cuzco and Yale.

Dr. Burger and his wife, archaeologist Lucy Salazar, have focused on Machu Picchu and Peru for the last 30 years.

In the 1990s their major exhibition about the site was seen by 1,200,00 people in seven cities. They have recently installed a small exhibit at Yale’s Peabody Museum in celebration of the centennial of Bingham’s discoveries.

Dr. Burger recently stepped down as Director of the Peabody Museum and is now Chairman of Archaeological Studies at Yale. Recently, he and his wife were made honorary faculty members at the University of Cuzco. He has lectured all over the world and is widely published.

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