Peruvian minister worried about irreparable damage to Macchu Picchu

Machu Picchu

enlargeIn danger of being removed from the UNESCO’s World Heritage List:
Peru’s tourist treasure Machu Picchu

(LIP-wb) — Peru’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Mercedes Aráoz, announced on Monday that experts of UNESCO will come to Peru in February to evaluate the country’s care of its patrimonial heritage.

"If the National Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu loses its inclusion on the World Heritage List as both a cultural and natural site, it would tremendously damage our main tourist icon’s reputation”, she warned.

Aráoz complained about the lack of respect with regard to its protection due to a decision of the mayor of La Convención, Fedia Castro de Gutiérrez, to approve the construction of a heavy bridge on alluvial soil without respecting judicial orders. The minister argued the bridge is one reason for possible damage in the area surrounding the old Incan sanctuary.

“We do not want to keep tourists away nor do we want to restrict the improvement of local infrastructure, but to include them in a productive development without damaging our historical patrimony”, she limited, adding that the construction of the bridge was not evaluated by scientific experts and can have a major environmental impact.

Aráoz advanced that during the first six months of Alan Garcia’s government, it is expected that 500,000 tourists will visit Machu Picchu, of which 75% are foreigners.

“If they see that the monument is not receiving its proper care, evidently they will stay away resulting in an immense loss of foreign currencies to our country”, she warned.