Published November 06, 2012
LIMA, Peru – A mummified toddler seized from antiquities traffickers is at least 700 years old and sits about a foot tall.
On Tuesday, it was returned to Peru by Bolivia, where officials seized it two years ago as smugglers tried to ship it to France.
The mummy was presented at a news conference wrapped in white linen. Its sex is uncertain but archaeologists believe it comes from a pre-Inca culture of coastal Peru.
Peruvian cultural official Blanca Alva says the mummy's left leg belonged to another child and only two of the five pieces of cloth in which it was wrapped are original.
Peru struggles to prevent the theft of its rich cultural patrimony. Three years ago, Peru added human remains to its list of endangered goods barred from export.