Museo Larco

Even though it is not exactly in one of the touristy areas, the Larco Museum turned out to be another excellent tip from the Time’s “10 things to do in Lima“. Taking a taxi to get there, I started to wonder during the almost half hour drive what the heck the taxi driver was planning. The buildings got smaller and shabbier as we drove, the potholes bigger.

Finally, he dropped me in an area where I really didn’t feel inclined to walk around a lot even though it would probably have been perfectly safe during daytime. Anyway, all this was forgotten the moment I entered the museum. Inside it is a beautiful building with an even prettier courtyard and an insightful exhibition.

Larco Museum

The way the collection is arranged, it guides the visitor through a few thousands of years of pre-Columbian history. It’s fascinating to realize how many more ancient cultures & civilizations* thrived before and even during this time.  It also makes the point that the Inka are so well known only because they happened to be around when the Spanish arrived.

The permanent exhibition does a good job in describing the living conditions to emphasize the importance of the displayed findings. What seems nice but not special to modern eyes – say jewellery, pottery or music instruments – all had a carefully chosen space in a strong cultural and religious framing.

Gold mask Panther

Besides the permanent exhibition, the museum hosts one of the largest collections of erotic pottery in the world; some of it is to be seen as well. What I found even more interesting is that visitors are allowed to roam freely the depot of the museum, instead of it being locked away only to catch dust for experts to see.

Its way too much to visit all at once but still gives a good impression of the mastery achieved at the time.

*Is there a difference?

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