14:52 | Lima, Oct. 01 (ANDINA).
A group of experts from Peru's Ministry of Culture is seeking the return of the first batch of 20 ancient pre-Columbian textiles currently held at the World Culture Museum in Gothenburg.
The deputy minister of Cultural Heritage, Javier Luna, said "the mission traveled to Sweden two weeks ago to evaluate the state of conservation of the 89 Paracas textiles," which are some 2,300 years old.
The Paracas culture flourished on Peru's southern coast from around 100 BC to 200 AD, but little was known about their people until archaeological excavations starting in the 1920s.
"The specialists have made a detailed inventory of the pieces, so we know that 20 of the 89 textiles are of excellent quality, and the idea is to get these first 20 back in Peru," Luna told Andina news agency.
The deputy minister hailed the ongoing negotiations between Peru and the Gothenburg City Council as "optimal" and said "now it is up to the Peruvian Foreign Ministry to develop a memorandum of understanding to start the repatriation process."
According to the Gothenburg museum website, "large quantities of Paracas textiles were smuggled out of Peru and illegally exported to museums and private collections all over the world around 1930. About a hundred of them were smuggled to Sweden and donated to the Ethnographic Department of Göteborg Museum."
The town officially possesses 89 of the textiles, displayed since 2008 and under surveillance, according to the website.