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Gothenburg Paracas Textiles Return to Peru

The intricate ‘Shroud of Gothenburg’ is one of four ancient Andean textiles that have returned to Lima from Sweden this month. They mark the start of the repatriation of eighty-nine 2,000-year-old textiles that have been owned by the City of Gothenburg, and managed by the National Museums of World Culture since the 1930s. The rest of the collection will be transported in three instalments, the last of these being made in 2021- a year in which Peru and Gothenburg celebrate their 200th and 400th anniversaries.


‘The Shroud of Gothenburg’, Paracas textile, Peru, 400 – 200 B.C., cotton and camelid wool, repatriated June 2014

The transaction began following a request from the Government of Peru for the transfer ownership of the collection, much of which was on show from 2008 – 2011 in the Museum of World Culture exhibition, ‘A Stolen World’. Originally smuggled out of South America illegally following a military coup, the ancient textiles were incredibly well preserved having been protected from air and light in the desert climate of the Paracas Peninsular where they were used as burial shrouds.

See HALI 166 Textiles for the Afterlife for more detail on the collection. Next issue, HALI 180 Brian David comments on the ethical dilemmas of exhibiting excavated art.


Paracas mantle using a total of 22 individual colours, 89 x 180cm, Peru


Paracas textile, Peru, repatriated June 2014


Paracas textile, Peru, repatriated June 2014


Paracas textile fragment, Peru, repatriated June 2014


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