During our tour of the small town of San Pedro de Atacama, you mentioned to me how much you wanted to visit the Gustavo Le Paige Museum.
However, when we arrived at this centre of the Atacameño cosmovision, we found out that it is no longer open to the public.
Confused, we asked locals for explanations, who told us what we would later confirm in the news: the museum no longer had the capacity and infrastructure to care for the pieces it treasured. Sadly, we were too late for the farewell.
After 18 months of arduous and delicate work, at the beginning of 2016, twelve thousand boxes with pieces from the museum were moved in their entirety to a transitory enclosure that will house them while a new museum is being built.
This journey also included "the grandparents", affectionate support given to the mummified bodies preserved in the museum, who left the site with a respectful ceremony organised by the community.
Gustavo Le Paige, a Jesuit priest, was a pioneer in archaeological research in northern Chile.
In the 1950s, when he was parish priest of San Pedro de Atacama, he began the arduous work on the Atacameño archaeological and ethnographic collections that would become the museum's main feature, and which would eventually number more than 380,000 pieces.
In 1963, with the support of the Universidad Católica del Norte, the researcher inaugurated the first pavilion of the emblematic building that was now closing its doors. Although we were not able to visit it, we left happy to know that the museum was in good hands.
With a silent "see you soon", we said goodbye with the promise to return in two more years to get to know its renovated 5,000 square metre facet, something that would surely make Jesuit Gustavo Le Paige very happy.
Since the end of 2017 and until today you can visit a complete Archaeological Deposit of the Museum in its temporary location. To schedule your visit you can call +56940058263 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .