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The exhibition presents the portraits of two opposite men, the Inca Atahualpa and the Conquistador Francisco Pizarro, through their life the conquest of the Inca Empire is described.
We are in the 1520s. The Spanish empire of Charles I, with its great thirst for gold and conquests, continues the exploration of the Pacific Ocean and the South American coast that had begun a decade earlier. At the same time on the Amerindian coast, the greatest Inca empire ever known – Tawantinsuyu, "the empire of four quarters" – is expanding under the reign of Huayna Capac. The dynastic crisis provoked by Capac's death brings his son Atahualpa to power. This coincides with the arrival on Peruvian soil of the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro and his conquistadores.
Through Spanish and indigenous stories of the conquest, illustrating the parallel lives and conflicts of these two protagonists, the exhibition examines the key events in the history of the South American continent. Presented in the form of a dialogue, the Inca and Hispanic objects, paintings, maps and engravings of the period highlight the clash between two radically different worlds, as they underwent a profound political, economic, cultural and religious revolution.
The exhibition presents two historical figures face to face and, through them, two empires whose fates would intersect. The exhibition begins with a presentation of the historical and political context of the discovery of the New World by the Spanish. Then it immerses us in the Inca empire, exploring its mode of governance and the brotherly rivalry between the two princes Atahualpa and Huascar, which would end in civil war. Atahualpa took power at the end of this war.