One of the many gems we discovered during a month in Peru was this tiny museum. Despite – or possibly because of – the fact that virtually no English was spoken, and my Spanish is very limited, the treasures we were privileged to view stood out on their own as absolutely exquisite examples of pre-Hispanic pottery and textiles, all in perfect or near-perfect condition.
The museum was founded by a Japanese-Peruvian, Yoshitaro Amano, and is today funded by the Amano Museum Foundation. It is open to visitors only two or three hours a day during the week, and appointments must be made in advance. There is no admission charged, but donations, and purchases at the charming little gift shop, are encouraged.
Our appointment was for 3:00, and we were the only people in the “tour.” Our guide welcomed us at about 3:10. A group of Japanese tourists, led by a Japanese-speaking guide, followed us in the next tour at 3:30. Our guide spoke only Spanish and I was concerned that this would be a problem but, somehow, almost magically, much of what he told us was understandable. And, truthfully, the background and explanations he provided were secondary to the breath-taking quality of the pottery and, especially, the textiles, he showed us. He pulled out drawer after drawer, each with only one or two stunning pieces of intricately woven fabric and lace. It was almost beyond belief that these pieces had survived in such beautiful condition, from the coastal Chancay culture that existed between 800 and 1000 years ago.
The museum, as noted, is small, and the “tour” lasted under an hour. But the impact of what we saw was huge, and we’re delighted we made an opportunity to visit Museo Amano. We highly recommend it.
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