Iron Mountain partners with the People’s Palace Project and Factum Foundation to preserve historic cave in Brazil


Crozier Fine Arts to ship cave replica sustainably

August 2, 2023 mins
Iron Mountain partners with the People’s Palace Project and Factum Foundation to preserve historic cave in Brazil

In 1961, the Xingu territory, inhabited by 15 Indigenous Peoples, in Mato Grosso, Brazil was the first Indigenous territory protected in the country; however the territory boundaries did not include the Sacred Cave of Kamukuwaká. The walls of the cave tell the origin stories of the people in the Xingu, their ancestor Kamukuwaká, and his battles with the jealous sun, Kamo.

In September 2018, Wauja people from the Xingu discovered that the ancient petroglyphs covering the ancient Cave of Kamukuwaká’s surface had been systematically destroyed, leaving the Wauja people without the fundamental piece of their cultural heritage. Through an incredible feat of skill, engineering and innovation, the world-class Factum Foundation in Madrid, Spain stepped in and meticulously produced a full-size replica of the cave in collaboration with the Wauja people and People’s Palace Projects.

During this process, the team was already thinking about how to take the replica on its 5,000-mile journey home to Brazil from Madrid. That’s where Iron Mountain and our Crozier team got involved.

Sustainable, secure shipping

The People’s Palace Projects (PPP), an art and research center and a nonprofit organization with a mission to investigate the power of creativity and collaborate with marginalized communities, got in touch with Iron Mountain’s Living Legacy Initiative. With a clear focus on preserving and making cultural heritage information and artifacts accessible, the Living Legacy Initiative team was well-positioned to fund the planning, consultation with Indigenous partners, and the building of a cultural and monitoring center that will also house the cave replica when it arrives in Brazil.

With art logistics and solutions experts Crozier Fine Arts, an Iron Mountain business, the replica was packed, crated, and shipped using its sustainable sea-freight shipping service from Madrid to the Xingu Territory, and is expected to arrive in May 2024. According to the Gallery Climate Coalition, “transporting an artwork by air has, on average, sixty times more climate impact than moving it the same distance by sea.” By using Crozier’s sea-freight shipping service, we’re supporting our ongoing sustainability commitments - as well as those of our partners.

Preserved forever more

The cave replica will be installed in the newly built 150 square meter Cultural and Monitoring Center in the Ulupuwene Village in the Xingu Territory. It will enable younger generations to learn about their history, which was almost lost, and allow others to pay tribute to their ancestors.

The center is being built according to sustainable architecture principles, using bio-construction techniques and local Indigenous labor. The building is equipped with solar panels, internet service, an office and storage spaces that will enable the Wauja people to monitor the territory and the Batovi river using drones, cameras and GPS. Once complete, the Cultural and Monitoring Center will welcome visitors from all over the world.

You can learn more about Crozier’s sustainable sea freight shipping here.