By Amanda Richards
Peruvian authorities in charge of archaeological sites seem to have a voracious appetite to ‘rebuild’ the Inca ruins. They seem to think that the ruins need to be ‘reconstructed’ in order for them to become worth something more – ‘puesta en valor’ as the signs tell us. The ruins in themselves are just not enough.
As we explored the ruins,we realized just how much had been ‘reconstructed’ and continues to be. At Macchu Pichu for example, you can’t even see the ‘most beautiful wall in the world’ (as described by Hiram Bingham) as it is currently under ‘reconstruction’ and the area is only open to workers carrying bags of cement. It felt strange to watch the ‘ruins’ being rebuilt and made to look ‘tidy and new’.
Peter Frost raises this issue in his book ‘ Exploring Cusco’ hoping to ignite some discussion as he argues that there has never been a debate in Peru about this. No one has ever questioned the authorities. And so the rebuilding of the old ruins – ‘The Treatment’ as Frost describes it, continues unimpeded.
I have to admit that on one hand there is something nice about seeing the ruins ‘new and rebuilt’ like the beautiful, big terraces at Moray for example. However, I agree with Frost that this theme park approach takes away the ‘mystery, allure and enchantment’ that only our own imaginations can add to the experience of being there at these intriguing and mystical ruins.