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Annenberg Foundation acquires sacred items for Alaska Natives

Filed Under: National | World
More on: alaska, alaska native, france

A panel from a Tlingit bentwood box was among two items that were returned to Alaska after being purchased by the Annenberg Foundation at an auction in France last year. Photo from Sealaska Heritage Institute / Facebook

The Annenberg Foundation has returned two sacred items to their original owners in Alaska.

A panel from a Tlingit bentwood box that would have been used to hold sacred items was returned to Sealaska Heritage Institute. A sacred Chugach mask was returned to the Chugach Alaska Corp.

"We couldn't believe it. We were astonished when we heard the Annenberg Foundation purchased the panel to send it home. This has never happened before, and it is wonderful news," Rosita World, the president of Sealaska Heritage Institute said in a press release, referring to the panel.

The foundation purchased 25 of 27 items that were offered a heavily contested auction in France last December. Tribes and the Obama administration tried to stop the sale but the French government and the courts in France refused to take action.

Get the Story:
Two Alaska Native artifacts return home after clandestine auction bid by nonprofit (The Anchorage Daily News 9/3)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Auction of tribal property in France sets bad precedent (07/25)
Auction house in France goes ahead with sale of tribal property (06/30)
Sacred property being returned to tribes in Arizona after auction (02/20)
Foundation bids on sacred property to repatriate to two tribes (12/11)
Contested auction of sacred tribal property brings in $1.6M (12/10)
Hopi Tribe loses bid to stop auction of sacred property in France (12/9)
Hopi Tribe files suit to block auction of sacred property in France (12/3)

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