Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Peru: Gov't Rejects German Cash for Museum

Susana Villaran is reporting on her Spanish language blog that the German government has made an offer of two million dollars to help construct a museum of memory in Peru, and that Peru has turned the money down. The museum is intended to house the excellent photographic exhibition Yuyanapaq, which is currently located temporarily in the Museo de la Nacion.

The most detailed report on this I could find (I couldn't find many) is from Spanish news agency EFE.

German diplomatic sources explained to Efe that the offer was rejected by the Peruvian Government despite the fact it "had been made via different channels", but no official Peruvian source - from the President's or the Chancellor's offices - wanted to comment on the matter.
(trans mine)

The offer apparently stems from the visit of German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, to the Yuyanapaq exhibition last year. The donation would apparently be managed primarily by the Defensoria del Pueblo (government ombudsman), but a spokeperson for the Defensoria said that while the offer was made some time ago, they had no official notice of its rejection and if true, this would be something that that department would regret.

A petition has apparently begun circulating among academics and human rights activists calling on the Peruvian administration to reconsider. Clearly, the presumption seems to be that the Garcia administration is not particularly interested in keeping alive memories of Peru's conflict; and this might well be the case considering how some of the images in Yuyanapaq reflect on the first Alan Presidency. I'd like to know more about this case, but whatever the reasons for not taking up the cash to build a museum, the fact remains that Peru is in need of a central site for acknowledge the horrors of the 1980s and 1990s, and to secure a permanent home for Yuyanapaq. What are the grounds for not pushing ahead to create one?

Peru rechaza donacion alemana 2 millones de dolares para Museo de la Memoria (adn)


mattheil said...

no idea if Peru21 invented that answer, which says the peruvian gov instead wants to use that money for victims from the internal war in Ayacucho.

Is it Memory vs. Reparación?

"Ante las críticas de un grupo de intelectuales a la postura gubernamental, fuentes del Ejecutivo explicaron a Perú.21 que el Gobierno agradece el gesto de su par alemán, pero –indicaron– preferiría canalizar ese dinero en favor de las casas-hogar Juan Pablo II, que albergan a víctimas de la subversión, en Ayacucho."

Lillie Langtry said...

Interesting. Can they really accept the money but not use it for the purpose intended? I sincerely hope that it doesn't end up in a pointless 'memory vs reparations' debate, as if it must be one or the other, but of course that does raise a lot of important issues.

mattheil said...

Seen this?