Nearly five years after German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered to donate funds to build a Museum of Memory for those killed in the 20-year war against Sendero Luminoso, the Lugar de la Memoria, Tolerancia e Inclusión has opened some sections of its building with a three-day cultural festival ‘ILUMina’ held on the 5, 6 and 7 June. The festival included a book presentation, a film screening and discussion, a theatre piece, a photographic exhibition, artistic interventions by local artists and a rock concert held the last night at the Atrium of the newly christened LUM. (

Although the final exhibit is still not ready, controversy has mired the opening of the long-awaited building. Criticism was always expected from the right, opposed on principle to the creation of this space. More unexpected, however, has been resistance from the parts of the human rights community. President of the Commission, Salomon Lerner Febres stated it would be a grave ethical and historical error to give a vague message that did not have the victims at its core. Denise Ledgard, executive director of the project, has explained that the content of the permanent exhibit is being discussed with the communities most affected in Ayacucho and Satipo.