According to Peru This Week, the sisters Roxana and Gloria Abril say that the land containing Machu Picchu was owned by their family prior to the site’s discovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911.
The BBC says that the two Peruvian sisters claim to be the rightful owners of the Machu Picchu site because their great-grandfather Mariano Ignacio Ferro owned the land on which the Inca citadel is built, and therefore, they are the legitimate heirs to the property.
“It’s incredible that, being descendants of the sole owner of Machu Picchu, we have to pay to get in. They don’t even give us the courtesy of getting in for free! Whilst Machu Picchu belongs to us,” said Roxana Abril in an interview with BBC News.
Apparently the sisters have been fighting legal battles against the Peruvian government for almost 10 years now.
Elias Carreno of the Ministry of Culture said that te Peruvian state categorically rejects the aspirations of the two sisters and any compensation they want to receive.” Which is , according to the BBC, US$100 million in compensation as well as future tourism profits from the site.
Unesco declared Machu Picchu to be a World Heritage Site, which designates Machu Picchu as a place that is important to the common heritage of humanity. Hunders of thousands of visitors visit Machu Picchu every day by train tour to Machu Picchu or via the famous trek the Inca Trail in Peru.