Lima

Lima really isn’t the most enthralling of cities. Today I took a city tour in the hope of discovering something fantastic, but it just wasn’t to be. I did take a photo of the Plaza Mayor, more to show willing than anything else…

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Even the tour companies don’t seem to think that there’s much to see in a city tour, combining the city tour with some other offering. The company I used had a city tour with tour of the cathedral (nah….), a city tour with tour of the catacombs of San Francisco (which I looked up online – piles of bones) or the Museo Oro del Peru (which I had seen online but had discounted as it was in a residential area a long way from the area I’m staying in and with no obvious way of getting there).

So, Gold it was…. The museum has been the subject of some scandal in the past (with many of its exhibits declared to be fakes in around 2001; presumably these are no longer on display but who knows…….). Also, it was a private collection, which invariably means that many of the pieces were bought from looters. Coming from a country that has pilfered all manner of objects from around the globe and stashed them in the basement of the British Museum, I figured I’d leave moral outrage out of it and go take a look. At least this stuff is all on display for people to see.

I can report that I’ve now seen a reasonable quantity of gold and silver artefacts and have learned the Spanish word for nose ring, which we weren’t taught at school for some reason, together with another useful verb (cercenar) to describe chopping off someone’s head. I’ve also seen my first Peruvian mummies, and some Nazca and Moche ceramics. Unfortunately cameras weren’t allowed in the museum, but as luck would have it the object I most wanted to steal appears on the entrance ticket, so I’ve taken a photo of that.

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It’s a Tumi, a ceremonial knife (used in the aforementioned chopping off of heads). I’ve seen some Tumis brandished in pictures of one of the sites I’m going to be visiting. Probably best to leave the head-chopping at that for today though and come back to it at a later date…..

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