The public at large has a limited knowledge of the pre-Colombian world. It consists essentially in the Aztecs and the Mayas in Mexico and the Incas in Peru and Bolivia. Other countries also have a patrimony that is far from being common, but they have difficulties in having them being known. This is the case for Ecuador, where treasure hunters are still in search of Atahualpa’s gold: following the assassination of the Inca sovereign, half of the fabulous ransom was never delivered to the Spaniards and may still be hidden in the Llanganates mountains … A private museum in one of the most beautiful ensembles of colonial architecture in Latin America has just opened in the heart of Quito (May 2010). La Casa del Alabado houses the collections of the Klein, Viteri and Ribadeneira families, and exhibits Ecuador’s wealth of the Inca (very briefly) and pre-Inca periods.

The non-chronologic itinerary tries to make the cosmic vision of the local cultures familiar to others. The museography is clear and full of light, in an old adobe home very properly restored.

The 5000 pieces of the collection have been digitized and are visible over internet. This is a rare success but went by unnoticed in face of the big commotion created around the opening of such European giants as the Centre Pompidou Metz or the Roman MAXXI and MACRO. Let us give to David …

The new museum of precolombian art Casa del Alabado, in Quito, Ecuador.

•La Casa del Alabado – the museum of pre-Colombian art is located at calle Cuenca 335, behind the convent of Saint-Francis.

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