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Judge schedules hearing over auction of tribal items in France

A judge in France is holding a hearing tomorrow to decide the fate of a controversial auction where Hopi, Zuni and Pueblo items are due to be sold.

The Hopi Tribe of Arizona authorized Survival International to represent its interests in France. The tribe wants the Néret-Minet auction house to stop the sale to ensure the items were not stolen from the reservation.

"We think these sacred objects were stolen from the Hopi Tribe and should be returned to the proper custodians and caretakers, the Kachina chiefs, within their respective Hopi villages," Chairman LeRoy N. Shingoitewa said in a press release.

The auction house claims the items were acquired legally. Most have been identified as Hopi but others may be property of Zuni Pueblo and Acoma Pueblo, both in New Mexico.

The auction house said the collection could draw more than $1 million.

Get the Story:
Judge expected to rule on kachina auction in France (The Arizona Republic 4/10)
Paris Judge Orders Hearing on Auction Sale of Hopi Artifacts (The New York Times 4/9)
French auction firm faces court test over sale of Hopi tribal masks (Reuters 4/9)
Hopi sacred objects up for bid at French auction house (The Navajo Hopi Observer 4/9)

Related Stories:
Embassy official calls for halt to auction of tribal cultural items (4/9)
Timothy McKeown: Auction house ignores Hopi Tribe's concerns (4/9)
Auction house in France claims tribal items acquired legally (4/4)
Hopi Tribe won't bid on cultural objects on auction in France (4/3)
Hopi Tribe seeks to block auction of cultural items in France (4/2)
Jim Enote: Buyer beware as auction house offers 'Zuni' masks (3/14)

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