The Museum

Our Institution

Consejo Fundador
Relaciones Públicas
  • Museum Origins

    During the 1970s, Sergio Larraín García-Moreno became increasingly aware of the importance of his collection and of the urgent need to establish an ongoing institution for its permanent and overall care. He approached university and governmental institutions with the intention of donating the collection so it could be exhibited, preserved and expanded.
    After several attempts, he received an enthusiastic response from Santiago’s then mayor, Patricio Mekis, who welcomed the idea and began searching for a building to house the institution. Julio Philippi, a prominent lawyer, was entrusted by Sergio Larraín to create a legal framework to establish a stable institution that would protect the Museum”s objects and their integrity, and guarantee their future in accordance with a set of founding principles and guidelines. Thus, the Fundación Familia Larraín Echenique was born, and so named as a way of expressing that the collector”s family, and not the collector himself, was donating the pieces to create a museum for their conservation, study and public exhibition.
    By means of an agreement between the Foundation and the Municipality of Santiago, the latter of which provides the building that houses the Museum as well as the funds to cover all of the management and operating expenses, the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino opened its doors to the public in December 1981.
    Creating an institution to conserve, study and diffuse the artistic legacy of the pre-Columbian peoples of all of the Americas was a pioneering, and remains a unique, initiative in Latin America.

  • The Founder

    Chilean architect Sergio Larraín García-Moreno, an avant-gardist in the field of urban design in Santiago, studied in Europe during his youth and upon his return, traveled throughout the Americas. He was awed by the variety of landscapes: the impenetrable and humid Amazon jungle; the arid deserts and rainforests; the cold Pacific coast and the warm waters of the Atlantic. However, it was the cultural diversity that most surprised him.
    In spite of the European conquest, the aboriginal cultures, inheritors of the splendid past of the Americas, had not disappeared. He was astonished to find that an important part of global agriculture depended on corn and potatoes, crops that were produced and bequeathed to humanity by the indigenous peoples of the Americas; that 3,000 years ago the ancient Olmecs dominated abstract mathematical concepts such as zero, were well initiated in astronomy and had developed a system of writing. Sergio Larraín felt that the art of these peoples contained a hidden message of humanity, of a cultural uniqueness that had to be recovered.
    It was then that he was seized by a passion to understand these cultures, and so began collecting their works of art. Over a period of fifty years, he selected the most varied pre-Columbian objects using one basic criterion: that their aesthetic quality should produce an emotion similar to that described by Dürer when a piece of Mexican jewelry he saw at the court of Flanders overwhelmed him with awe. Consequently, he collected a set of exceptional pieces, representing indigenous American art in all its variety. It was neither the complex technical knowledge, nor the heterogeneous aboriginal economies that attracted the collector, but that far more profound and spiritual message of art.
    Sergio Larraín García-Moreno died on June 27th, 1999.

  • Our building

    The Museum is housed in one of Santiago’s most distinguished colonial buildings. Constructed in 1805 in the neoclassical style, thebuilding originally was home to the colonial government’s Royal Customs House.

    Located one block from the Plaza de Armas of Santiago, the site the Museum occupies has always played a central role in the history of both the city and the country. In 1555, this very block was granted to the first Mayor of Santiago, Juan de Cuevas, who built his residence on it. In 1635 the Jesuit Order installed the royal Colegio Convictorio de San Francisco Javier, after named the Convictorio Carolino de Nobles.

    Subsequently, Governor Luis Muñoz de Guzmán ordered that the Royal Customs House be built on the site and commissions its construction to military engineer José María de Atero, who erected the building between 1805 and 1807. This building, declared a National Monument and now home of the Chilean Museum of Precolombian Art, expresses a pure neoclassical architecture that was based on plans drawn up by de Joaquín Toesca, an Italian architect whose previous commissions included the Palacio de La Moneda presidential palace, among other buildings.

    During the Republican period the building housed the National Library, and in 1845 it became home to the Courts of Justice, which it remained until1968 when a great fire completely destroyed the building and its archives. In the 1980s, through a series of restoration projects, the Custom’s House was completely rebuilt and refurbished, and became the home of the Museum.

    The first floor of the Museum houses the temporary exhibit galleries. The Museum’s library operates in the basement of Compañía 1068, in a building designed by Sergio Larraín García Moreno.

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  • Board of the Fundación Familia Larraín Echenique
    Chair: Clara Budnik Sinay
    Secretary: Cecilia Puga Larraín
    Treasurer: Hernán Rodríguez Villegas

    Board Members:
    Felipe Alessandri Vergara, Mayor of Santiago
    Ennio Vivaldi Véjar, Rector of the Universidad de Chile
    Ignacio Sánchez Díaz, Rector of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
    Emilio de la Cerda, Undersecretary for Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Arts, Cultures and Heritage
    Ricardo Couyoumdjian Bergamali, President of the Chilean Academy of History
    Francisco Mena Larraín
    R. P. Gabriel Guarda O. S. B.

    Honorary Board Members:
    María Luisa del Río de Edwards.
    Juan Manuel Santa Cruz Munizaga.

    Museum Director:
    Carlos Aldunate del Solar

  • Equipo

    Carlos Aldunate del Solar

    Gerente General
    Paloma Cintolesi Rossetti

    Curador Jefe
    José Berenguer Rodríguez

    Pilar Alliende Estévez

    Comunicaciones y Públicos
    Paulina Roblero Tranchino
    Oriana Miranda Navarrete
    Renata Tesser Cerda

    Rebeca Assael Mitnik
    Carla Díaz Duran
    Gabriela Acuña Miranda
    Sara Vargas Neira
    Gonzalo Cornejo Kelly
    Patricio Weiler Bollo
    Alvaro Ojalvo Pressac

    Carole Sinclaire Aguirre

    Área Audiovisual
    Claudio Mercado Muñoz

    Gestión de Proyectos
    Paulina Henriquez Poller

    Rodrigo Alfaro Alfaro

    Conservación y Restauración
    Andrés Rosales Zbinden
    Luis Solar Labra
    Mabel Canales Donoso
    Daniela Cross Gantes
    Maria Jesus Tardones

    Rocío Guerrero Palma

    Varinia Varela Guarda

    Marcela Enríquez Bello
    Isabel Carrasco Painefil

    Asistente de Dirección
    Andrea Vera Palma

    Recursos Humanos
    Marcela Parra Rementería

    Erika Doering Araya

    Soporte TIC
    Sebastián Medel Durán

    Evelyn Bello Briones
    Valentina Marcel Olivares
    Marcela Millas Brücher
    Simón Catalán Soto

    Oficina de Partes
    Carolina Flores Arriagada
    Raúl Padilla Izamit

    Guillermo Esquivel Jara
    Rigoberto Cardenas Ramirez

  • Access policy:

    Art touches people’s hearts. With these words, the founder of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, Sergio Larraín García-Moreno, imagined a living, open and diverse museum. A space that integrates and listens, an America without frontiers reflected in each of the ten thousand pieces of our collection, representing more than fifty pre-Columbian archaeological cultures.

    In order to encourage the attendance of the local public, a new entrance fee has been created for chileans and resident foreigners, lowering the general entrance fee to $1,000 and $500 for students.

    Added to this are all the free instances already granted by the institution:

    • Free entrance for children under 10 years of age.
    • Free entrance for native peoples.
    • Free entrance for teachers of the formal chilean education system and for academics of chilean universities*.
    • Free entrance for mediated visits to nursery, primary and secondary educational chilean establishments.**
    • Free entrance for members of Club Barrio Santiago.
    • Free entrance for officials of the Municipality of Stgo.
    • Free entrance for workers of public and private museums.
    • Free entrance to the ZIM Galery of the Mustakis Foundation.
    • Free entrance on the first Sunday of each month.

    *Present in reception identity card where the teacher’s title is mentioned or copy of the professional title (in digital or printed format). The card of the College of Teachers is also valid.

    **The group of students may be accompanied by up to 4 teachers/guardians, who will have a free entrance.

    Chile, Santiago and the Pre-Columbian Museum are home to the roots, richness and diversity of our history. We invite you to rediscover this limitless geography where everyone is welcome.

    Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, the heart of America.

  • Colaboradores

    Son colaboradores del Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino:

  • Transparencia

    Balance Tributario 2014 (Archivo PDF)

    EEFF-IFRS- Fundación Larraín 2014 (Archivo PDF)

    Estados financieros 2014 (Archivo PDF)

    Estados financieros e informe auditores 2013 (Archivo PDF)

    Informe de Actividades Final 2014 MCHAP (PDF)

    Convenio MCHAP-CNCA 2014 (Archivo PDF)

    Memoria Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino 2013 (Archivo PDF)

    Convenio MCHAP CNCA 2015 (PDF)

  • Galería de Fotos