On Tuesday, authorities in Peru recovered a nearly 700 year old mummified toddler from Bolivian culture minister, Pablo Groux. According to a recent article, Bolivian police seized the toddler nearly two years earlier from antiquities traffickers who were attempting to ship it to Compiegne, France.
Standing at only one foot tall, the mummy has become a sort of celebrity in Peru. It demonstrates the work done by Peruvian officials to protect its cultural heritage. According to Culture Minister Luis Peirano, “This small package,” “Is just a sample of the sacking, of the violation of our patrimony and all our inheritance.” The toddler is actually the second mummy to be returned to Peru. About a year ago, Germany returned a mummy that was removed from Peru in the 1980s.
Experts, who are unsure of the mummy’s sex, believe it is a two year old child from a pre-Inca culture of coastal Peru. Although the trafficking of mummies is far less common than that of antiquities, Peruvian Culture Ministry official Blanca Alva notes that “lately, there has been an increase in this, the trafficking of human remains.” In 2009, Peru added mummies and skeletal remains to the “red list,” meaning that their export is now restricted.