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BHP partners Chilean museum to present indigenous exhibition

BHP and its Escondida site have partnered with the Chilean Pre-Columbian Art Museum to present Taira, the dawn of art in Atacama, an exhibition that will bring the beauty, complexity and vitality of the rock art of Taira (Antofagasta Region) to the Pre-Columbian Museum in Santiago, from 1 December 2017 to 27 May 2018.

The exhibition counted on the participation of the Comunidad Indígena Atacameña Taira, who are the current inhabitants of where the archaeological site (under investigation) is located. The work is part of a long collaborative alliance between BHP/Minera Escondida and the Chilean Pre-Columbian Art Museum, and has led to the presentation of cultural projects of great importance to the country.

"Our alliance with the Chilean Pre-Columbian Art Museum is now more than fifteen years old and is a global level BHP commitment. In Australia, and other countries where we have operations, we also develop projects that recognize and celebrate Indigenous art and culture. In Chile, along with continuing to work on new projects that incorporate an active participation of local Indigenous communities, we are now starting a cultural exchange initiative with Australia, which we hope will be the beginning of a long-term collaboration between the Pre-Columbian Museum and the National Gallery of South Australia," says Daniel Malchuk, president of BHP Minerals Americas.

Taira, the dawn of art in Atacama is a series of 360-degree photographs, a telescopic film journey that imitates the flight of a condor, and a spectacle where the public will experience the atmosphere, fantasy and reality of the astronomical phenomena of Taira. The exhibition is set on an archaeological rock art site that has few parallels in the prehistory of American art. The museum also boasts a renewed Interactive Zone for the whole family and the Taira AR augmented reality game, where visitors will be able to personalise their own rock art.

“This is a very innovative exhibition that I believe has never been done before in our country. It is based on extensive research by our curator, José Berenguer, and therefore is an expression of very well-documented rock art. In terms of museum graphics, it is a daring display, with the inclusion of new media and high technology," explains Carlos Aldunate, director of the Chilean Pre-Columbian Art Museum.

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