Registrar’s Postcard: New Museology in Chile
I could post an image of a mummy. I’ve seen human remains in museums across Peru and Chile, some sitting curled in freezers, others twisted by the pain of their final moments in Perspex cases, or laid on stainless steel trollies like corpses in a morgue.
Until today, when visiting the R.P. Gustavo Le Paige Archeological Museum in San Pedro de Atacama, where the mummies have been removed from the eyes of ‘morbid visitors’ and had ‘their intimacy returned’. In consultation with the Atacameño community, the original arrangement of the collection is being reorganized to bring the bones of ancestors back together and store them in a dedicated facility facing a traditional burial direction.
The exhibition has had to be entirely redesigned. It now focuses on the technological achievements of the Atacameño people as they’ve worked out ways to live and belong in this extreme environment for more than 6,000 years.