Family Sues Peru, Says They Own Machu Picchu Ruins

That argument you’ve been having for a decade with your neighbor over the two feet of land you think you own doesn’t hold anything against this land claim, a Peruvian family has sued the state, claiming that they own the Machu Picchu ruins.

The family purchased the land with gold in 1910 and while they sold it to another family in 1944 they say the ruins were not part of the sale.

The family is taking their case to the United Nations and according to Seventy-year-old Edgar Echegaray Abril he has the original deed to prove his case.

During the 1944 sale the family says the ruins were being expropriated by the state and they never paid the family as agreed.

A lawyer for Abrils tells the Telegraph:


“In Peru, as in international law, if the property is not expropriated from you, you don’t lose it.”

In the meantime they are asking UNESCO, an agency of the UN to examine the case while the Zavaleta family who bought the land in 1944 area also claiming compensation rights for a 22,000-hectare area in Machu Picchu Archaeological Park.

Officials in Peru are not commenting on the case, instead say that Machu Picchu “belongs to all Peruvians.”

Do you think the state should have to pay up after more than 100 years? It will be interesting to see if the plaintiffs can provide enough proof of ownership to claim rights to the ruins. How much do you think the state would have to pay if ordered to buy Machu Picchu?