A Unesco mission asked Peruvian authorities to take emergency measures to protect the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, and in particular to keep the neighboring village of Aguas Calientes from spreading any further.

The mission of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which evaluated over the past few days the Inca citadel's state of preservation, also suggested that emergency measures be adopted to stabilize the site's buffer zone.

The head of Unesco for Latin America and the Caribbean, Nuria Sanz of Spain, told the official Andina news agency that the purpose of her visit was to "collaborate" with Peruvian authorities to find the best solution for preserving Machu Picchu.

"We have to create a dynamic that permits strict control and regulation, respect for the site, respect for the authorities because of the efforts they are making, respect for the tourists and the services related to their visits," she said.

Sanz also said she recommended to the Peruvian government that an international panel of consultants and technicians be set up to design and execute plans for the preservation of Machu Picchu.

The famous Inca citadel was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983, but in recent years Unesco has presented a series of concerns about the accessibility of the site, the handling of trash left by tourists and the ancient stronghold's management by local authorities. EFE