“It’s a tragedy”: in the area of Machu Picchu to build the airport
The works are in the ancient town of Chinchero — the gate to the Sacred valley of the Peruvian Andes.
20 may 2019 14:43
About plans to build new airport near Machu Picchu in 2012 declared Ollanta Humala, President of Peru (and talk about the construction was still in the 70s).
The project is worth several billion dollars meant to promote tourism in the region. Currently, the nearest to Machu Picchu airport is located 77 km to the South-East, in the city of Cusco. The way to the sights takes 4-6 hours on mountain roads by bus or train (or a couple of days, if you go on foot along the “Inca Trail”).
New air gate want to build 20 km closer to other ancient city of the Incas, Chinchero (of chinchero). It was founded about 550 years ago, the ruler of the Empire, Tupac Inca Yupanqui (a legendary Machu Picchu was built by his father, Pachacuti Yupanqui).
In addition to the proximity to the famous archaeological complex, the new airport will be more modern: if in Cuzco there is only one runway where you can land only small planes domestic flights, Chinchero will serve large Airliners flying on international routes, primarily from both Americas.
Recently, the authorities signed a law on withdrawal of lands with the issuance of compensation to the local residents, and in February on the future site of the airport brought in the bulldozers. Here on this site in Chinchero, had already discovered pottery and the traces of buildings, but did not conduct a full excavation. “What’s under the ground – we don’t know,” says Peruvian archaeologist Ebel Traslavina Arias.
The construction of the airport can destroy archaeological sites, but it threatens other consequences: for example, uncontrolled urbanization, increasing number of hotels in the surrounding areas, the influx of people and so on.
Archaeologists who from the very beginning protested against the idea, were forced to turn to the world community. Expert on the culture of Peru from the University of Cambridge, Natalia Majluf (Natalia Majluf) created a petition. She emphasized that the airport “threatens one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the world.”
To date, the petition was signed by 9.5 thousand people. They believe that the “landing near the Sacred valley is a bad idea: the noise will destroy the tranquility”; “the planet will get another theme Park and we could lose forever a special feeling when you visit Machu Picchu”. “It formed for centuries the landscape created by the Incas, neither should it interfere,” the guardians of history.
In addition, the ancient complex is already operating at the limit of its capacity: the daily number of visitors exceeds 2500 (that was the number recommended by the experts UNESCO).
“If the project is to develop, it will be a tragedy, – says Monica Ricketts, a specialist in the history of Peru. – We risk to destroy what was left after the Spanish conquistadors”.