Famous Peruvian Moche headdress on display in Lima’s Museo de la Nacion

Peruvian Moche headdress on display in Lima

enlargePeruvian headdress of the Moche culture on display in Lima

(LIP-wb) — The famous golden headdress of the Moche culture, which was recovered on August 15 by a Scotland Yard unit and returned to Peru a month later, will be exhibited on Friday, October 20, 2006, in the Silver Room of Lima’s Museo de la Nacion.

The special room, which will be inaugurated for this occasion, is secured with thick concrete walls and a door to a vault that will be occupied solely by the invaluable headdress.

The room counts on a specialized security system made up of strategic movement sensors to guarantee the piece’s safety.

The headdress is a metallic laminated gold piece representing an anthropomorphous face, surrounded by eight tentacles similar to a squid. The face itself is a relief with extended and heavy eyebrows, each made of five small, movable, spangled hooks.

The eyes are made of turquoise incrustations, with metal pupils and the mouth shows teeth made of oyster shells.

Peruvian anthropologist Dr. Walter Alva maintains that the Moche headdress comes from a real tomb at he "La Mina" archaeological site, located approximately 60 kilometers south of Sipán, in the Jequetepeque Valley near the Northern Peruvian coastal city of Chiclayo. La Mina was looted in 1988.

It is difficult to calculate the value of archaeological pieces belonging to Peru’s cultural heritage, since they are not commercialized by legal art dealers. Nevertheless, estimates are that if it would enter the market it could reach a value of 2 million dollars.