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Padre Le paige Museum

Padre Le paige Museum

Founded by Belgian priest Gustavo Le Paige, the Archaeological Museum that takes his name shows the evolution of the atacameñan culture throughout more than eleven thousand years, through a valuable collection of Andean archaeology that it includes, among other things, pieces of ceramics, clothes, utensils and mummies, being famous the old atacameñan mummy found in the desert and baptized like Miss Chile.

The history of the museum goes back to 1955 when Le Paige takes root in San Pedro by its church work and, in parallel way, dedicates to the study of the atacameñan past. Crossing villages and cemeteries he manages to collect the material that is kept in the parochial house. With the aid of the local population, the priest reunites the materials and initiates the construction of a place where to expose the pieces and soon he obtains the support of the Catholic University of the North, then pertaining at the Jesuita order, to qualify the museum.

In 1957 the first museum is inaugurated, which contained numerous Hispanic pieces (ceramics, textils, metals) and atacameñas mummies.

In 1963, with the support of the Catholic University of the North, it inaugurates the first pavilion of the present museum, located in the center of San Pedro de Atacama. This museum counts with a collection of approximately 380,000 pieces found in the atacameñan territory, that correspond to the period from the origins of the San Pedro culture to the arrival of the Spanish.

Actually the museum counts on three pavilions:

  • The exhibition hall
  • The laboratories, investigation, library and documentation pavilion
  • Warehouse pavilion

In 1991 it was inaugurated, with contributions of Minere Escondida, La Sala del Tesoro (the Room of the Treasure), that contains the made archaeological pieces with gold.

For the visitor, the archaeological museum is an interesting and forced visit, it will allow them to know the most important and showy aspects the history of San Pedro de Atacama.