EFE reports in El Deber:
Italian asks for help to the EU to preserve “small Machu Picchu” of Bolivia
The Italian archaeologist Patrizia Di Cosimo has requested to the European Union (EU) financial support in order to value a pre-Hispanic Citadel located in an area of the Yungas of Bolivia, which is regarded as a “small Machu Picchu”. [PLS see my comment below after the link of this post]
Di Cosimo said today it asked formally, this month, support for European cooperation to develop a comprehensive project that won’t be eminently archaeological, but also cultural, social, economic and tourism oriented to benefit the neighboring communities.
The project requires an estimated investment of between 500,000 and 800,000 euros for a period of four to five years, she said.
It is an archaeological site located near the Irupana municipality, 151 kilometers from La Paz, with hundreds of structures, between houses, squares and contemporary platforms from the inca period, although their exact cultural affiliation is still investigated.
The existence of the Citadel became public in February of last year  along with a request for assistance from the local authorities to the Governor of La Paz to begin its preservation and protection.
“It is one of the most impressive places above all by its extension and because their structures have been preserved and are standing”, said Di Cosimo, this week participating in La Paz in an international meeting with archaeologists who face projects in Bolivia.
The Irupana municipality declared as municipal heritage and will do the paperwork to the Government to make it a national heritage, in order to secure the financing.
The site was presented last year by the name of Inkataca or Sacred Valley, but is also identified as “Hill alley” [Callejon Loma], a place that is difficult to access, because it is situated 1,300 metres above the sea level, in the middle of mountains.
Di Cosimo regretted, however, that it have not been avoided in the past, that strangers do plunder their burials, as she found.
The builders of the Citadel, according to the Italian, were local cultural groups that still have not been determined because the investigations are inadequate, although at the moment there is no conclusive evidence of an Inca filiation or Tiahuanaco.
The place is part of one greater heritage area identified as Pasto Grande [big pasture], where on the other hand, it was clearly detected the presence of art from those other two Andean cultures.
At the meeting of archaeologists, the Bolivian José Luis Paz said that the country has at least 30,000 archaeological sites, as valuable as the ones in Peru, but they are not placed in value, or exploited for tourism due to the lack of financial support from the State.
I hate when comparisons are made that in the end undermine our own. Remember “Platini” Sanchez? he is an excellent Bolivian soccer player, no need to “tag” him with the remembrance of the French player… along those lines, we do not need to feel or been seen like a “little” Machu Picchu… and they even say they are still investigating to see if those ruins are even Incas…
Funding must be secured and tourism nationwide must be considered as a natural economic activity by those surrounding communities.