It has been reported that the Chilean Government is to request the return of artefacts from British Museums.

The most notable instance is the return and repatriation of the remains of an extinct animal, known as the Mylodon, that lived in Patagonia around 10,000 years ago.

Its remains were brought to the UK for research in 1897, but according to Felipe Ward, the Chilean Minister of National Assets, they have never been returned.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “We hope to have talks with the museum authorities … and seek to repatriate the mylodon’s remains; these are bones and skin that are in storage; not even being exhibited.”

Discussing the matter with Al Jazeera, a representative from the Natural History Museum said that the museum is “currently in communications with the relevant authorities in Chile”.

Mr Ward is also seeking the return of an Easter Island statue that was taken in 1868 and brought to London as a gift to Queen Victoria.

It is thought that the country also plans to ask the Kon-Tiki Museum in Norway to return a large selection of historical pieces from Easter Island.

Although it might seem like Chile has lost a lot of historical artefacts over the years, the country still has much to offer in terms of fascinating museums and exhibitions, so here are some of RealWorld’s favourites:

Servicio Nacional del Patrimonio Cultural

Open 10:00 to 18:45 Tuesday to Sunday, The National Museum of Fine Arts holds some of Chile’s most beautiful and important items of national artistic heritage, and regularly holds lectures, conferences, and seminars on art and other topics of interest.

Established in 1880, it is the oldest museum in South America, and is located in the very heart of Santiago.

With free entry to all, the museum has a host of temporary and permanent exhibits, including The Matta of All, which will run until March 2019.


The Houses of Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) is often regarded as one of the world’s most interesting and treasured poets, and two of his houses, found in Santiago and La Sebastiana, have been turned into museums and are open for all to see.

With each being decorated and designed by Neruda himself, guests are offered a glimpse into the mind and personality of South America’s most revered poet.

His first house, located in Santiago, is found in Barrio Bellavista, with guided tours being available in English, Spanish, and French.

Entry costs $4,000 pesos and is open from 10:00-18:00 Tuesday to Sunday. In January and February the museum stays open until 19:00.

The museum in La Sebastiana is found in the rolling and immensely beautiful hills of Valparaíso.

Like the first house, entry is priced at $4,000 pesos and the museum is open 10:00-18:00 Tuesday to Sunday.

Colchagua Museum

Located in the heart of the Valley of Colchagua in Santa Cruz, one of Chile’s most affluent wine regions, Colchagua Museum exhibits a wonderful mix of Chilean natural history and pre-Columbian art and culture.

The museum also exhibits the impressive and private collection wealthy weapons scientist, Carlos Cardoen, who collected anthropomorphic ceramics from all over Latin America, as well as South American huasos (cowboy) gear.

One of the primary exhibits is a collection of films, artefacts, and photographs from the 2010 rescue of 33 miners, who were trapped 700m underground for no less than 69 days.

The museum is open seven days a week, 10:00-19:00.

ALMA Observatory

Although not strictly a museum, the ALMA Observatory in Atacama, is open to all and has some of the most impressive scientific visiting facilities in South America.

The observatory is open every Saturday and Sunday morning, but be sure to register in advance on this page before heading out.

Entry is free of charge and a visit offers the remarkable opportunity to gain insights and knowledge about the universe around us.

The tour guides are very dedicated to their roles and welcome questions from guests and accompanying children alike.


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