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July 14, 1973 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-07-14

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Saturday, July 14, 1973


Page Five

Selling of ancient
artifacts f lourishes ,,

Associated Press Writer
CHANCAY, Peru - "Hey, mis-
ter, do you wont to boy old pots,
cloth, necklacesc shoots the
crowd of children, salesmen for
one of Per ],olides ad mot
prafitbhle buiinesse - trade in
plondered pre-Conambian arti-
Ce to uy hoie,' irges a
little girl, elbwing her co a-
panions aside to point to a hut of
woven caee material, one of ses-
era in a oor farnming commun-
ity 44 milt-srarth of Lima, the
c pital.
INS'IDE, a smiling Indian wo-
man ushers the prospective buy-
er into a tiny room, its d i r t
floor crowded with dusty cera-
mic objects, textiles, stone carv-
ings and wri-eate, wooden in-
ages of lang-fargatten dieties.
Although some are well-made
forgeries, the majority of the
artif-les on sole are genuine, col-
lected and sold by grave robbers
who pillage the tombs of the In-
dian cultures that flourished long
before the arrival of the Spanish
A youthful guide requires only
a few cents to take the visitor to
a nearby hillside, pockmarked by
decades of digging and littered
with human skulls, potsherds and
scraps of cloth that once formed
funeral bundles.
"MY FATHER and my uncles
used to dig here," explains the
child, gesturing at the 50 acre
site. "But they say there's noth-
ing left anymore. Now they go
to another place."
Sale of pre-Columbian artifacts,
mainly pottery vessejs, or "hua-
cos," is a profitable business in
Peru. The goods come from hun-
dreds of archeological sites,
mainly along the arid coast.
Many are known only to the
grave robbers.
Authorities complain that in-
discriminate digging by thieves,
amateur archeologists and curio-
sity seekers deprives national
museums of priceless objects and
causes irreparable damage to ar-
cheological sites.
SMALL-TIME traders concen-
trate on sales to tourists a n d
foreign residents. Large-scale op-
erations, however, are aimed at
the lucrative and illegal export
market. Private collectors, art
galleries and museums' in the
United States and Europe are the
principal buyers.
Although trading in antiquities
is not illegal in Peru, their ex-
cavation and export is strictly
prohibited by a law stating that
such articles belong to the state.
ENFORCEMENT of the laws
is difficult and expensive be-
cause of the large number of
archeological sites. Officials esti-
mate that hundreds of pre-Colum-
bia, articles still leave the coun-
try annually, a few in the suit-

cases of toorists, and diplomats
and many more in crates and dis-
guised as mehandise.
Ma st popaltir are the intricate-
It painted vessels of the Nazca
culttre of srthern Peru or those
of the Mochica culture of the
northern coast, where clay uten-
sil: often were i :fhioned in the
shape of huan and animal fig-
A delicate, pitlyirtmcd pot bur-
ied aad preserved in the dry
sand of Pcru's coastal desert
1,000 years sgo often looks as
though it hAd been made yester-
day and will bring several hun-
dred dllars in New York, Lon-
don or Paris.
SOME, in fact, were made only
yesterday. Fakes often are so
good that it takes an expert
to spot the fraud.
A Peruvian or foreign resident
who wishes to collect antiquities
may do so, provided he does not
dig them up himself, registers
them with the authorities and
does not try to take them out
of the country.
Despite prohibitions, digging
continues. Grave robbers, often
poor farmers who supplement
their income with the sale of
treasures, customarily use long
steel rods to probe the soft de-
sert sand in search ofhburial sit-

Don't blame me, I voted for McGovern
Sargent Shriver and Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.) get together at a party in the senator's
home. The party was called to celebrate the first anniversary of McGovern's presidential nomina-

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This is Newsprint.

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Harmless looking,, isn't -it?


All by itself, this innocuous square of paper hardly
ems important. But every week about 170,000
ouns of newsprint comes into Ann Arbor as news-
papers or to be made into newspapers. Well-packed,
that would make a square pile 20 feet on a side and
10 feet tall, solid newsprint. After the news is read,
the paper is buried and both are forgotten. But the
pile of old newsprint will grow until. it no longer can
be ignored.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Old newsprint can
be recycled and made into paper products, thus
sparing the landscape and trees that would other-
wise have been cut. In Ann Arbor the Ecology
Center has a recycling station on South Industrial
Highway, off Stadium, just south of the Coca-Cola
bottlers. It's open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednes-
day thru Saturday.

grandson of billionaire J. Paul
Getty remained missing yester-
day as Rome police continued
their search for the 17 year-old
youth. His parents have receiv-
ed a ransom demand which
police think may have been a

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