** FILE ** View of Peru's famed Machu Picchu ruins in this July, 2006, file photo. A new bridge was inaugurated Saturday in the village of Santa Teresa, over the turbulent Vilcanota River, despite the objections of government cultural experts, who fear increased tourism could threaten the UNESCO World Heritage site as hostels and restaurants spring up to serve travelers. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Lima – Yale University returned to Peru the final lot of archaeological items from Machu Picchu that it agreed to hand over in an accord signed two years ago.
Included were more than 35,000 ceramic and stone fragments not suitable for exhibit that were transported to the southern city of Cuzco in 127 boxes and added to another two lots sent by the U.S. university in March and December of last year.
The first consignment was made up of 366 exhibition-ready pieces and the second held another 218 items already on show at the Machu Picchu Museum in Cuzco's Casa Concha.
The boxes containing the final lot of fragments will be taken to the same museum, where they will be opened to determine their state of preservation in the presence of four Culture Ministry archaeologists.
The agreement between the Peruvian government and Yale was reached in 2010, spurred by a lawsuit and an international campaign launched by Lima to get back all the pieces and fragments found by U.S. explorer Hiram Bingham at the Inca citadel.
Bingham came upon Machu Picchu for the first time on July 24, 1911, and later retured with two expeditions, in 1912 and 1915, during which he took the archaeological objects back to his country for what was supposed to be a few months, though they eventually remained there for a century.