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Ancient artifacts from Machu Picchu come to the Boca Raton Museum of Art

An ancient artifact from the Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru exhibit.
Courtesy of Boca Raton Museum of Art
An ancient artifact from the Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru exhibit.

The Boca Raton Museum of Art is exhibiting cultural artifacts, gold collections and objects from the Incan city of Machu Picchu. Organizers say many of the artifacts from the ancient kingdom of Peru will be on display for the first time.

Anthony Tann, president of world heritage exhibitions at the museum, says organizers spent six years working on the multi-sensory exhibit alongside the Peruvian government and other leaders.

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Tann says the arts community is adapting to the renewed interest for in-person events during the pandemic, including outreach to the area's large Peruvian population.

Ulla Holmquist, who is of Peruvian and Danish descent, is a co-curator of the exhibit — which opens Oct. 16.

She said the world premiere of "Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru" is a full immersion experience, featuring virtual reality and other sights and sounds for people who haven’t visited Machu Picchu. The site, one of the seven wonders of the modern world, lasted for nearly 600 years. The musuem's exhibit includes about 192 artifacts.

Holmquist said visitors will get a chance to understand how the ancient Incas lived and created these objects, some of which date back 3,000 years.

"[They] lived there and created all of these marvelous objects that were part of their material culture in order to model their beliefs, the objects that were used during rituals, how they understood being in this world — the forces of the high world, forces of nature, forces of the underworld, and how they interacted because we humans live in the here and now," Holmquist said.

She said the artifacts send a universal message about civilization.

"It’s going to be not only understandable but enjoyable by every person," said Holmquist. "Doesn’t have to be Peruvian. Doesn’t have to be Latin American. It is really a human experience. An experience about being in this world."

Wilkine Brutus is the Palm Beach County Reporter for WLRN. The award-winning journalist produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs. Contact Wilkine at wbrutus@wlrnnews.org
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