I recently traveled to Lima, Peru where I visited MALI, the Lima Museum of Art, which has an extraordinary collection of pre-Columbian art. As I wandered round the galleries I was drawn into an intense contemplation of each individual object. I found myself overwhelmed by the incredible beauty of these essentially utilitarian objects. Although nearly all had a specific functional purpose – drinking vessels, bowls, utensils – they were simultaneously and unmistakeably works of art. It’s difficult to describe the aesthetic sensation of contemplating these objects and appreciating them for their sheer beauty. It was a revelation. I couldn’t help reflect at the same time on the knowledge that these exquisite pieces of art were made by people living in the Central Andes from 1200 BC until the arrival of the Spaniards in the 15th century. We can only imagine the rigors of their daily life. Yet, they created art.