Remark About Mummy Called 'Tacky'

Associated Press

A top Peruvian anthropologist said Friday that President Clinton's joke about the sex appeal of an Inca mummy was "tacky" and criticized the display of the mummy in Washington.

Clinton joked during a political fund-raiser Wednesday that the 500-year-old frozen mummy, known as the Ice Princess, was "good-looking" and if he were single he might ask her out. "That mummy looks better than I do on my worst days," he said.

Anthropologist Sonia Guillen said, "Obviously, there's a lack of respect" in Clinton's remarks.

"Maybe it would have been better if a man as public as Clinton had not handled the thing in such a tacky manner, so crudely," Guillen said.

Guillen, who has studied the mummy, opposed shipping it to the United States for fear it could be damaged.

The mummy is believed to be the best-preserved body from the pre-Columbian era. Also called Juanita by Peruvian scientists, the 12- to 14-year-old girl apparently was killed by a powerful blow to the head 500 years ago and sacrificed to the gods atop 20,000-foot-high Mt. Ampato.

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