Auction house in France claims tribal items acquired legally

An auction house in France says a collection of Hopi, Zuni and Pueblo items was acquired legally despite complaints from tribal representatives.

Gilles Néret-Minet, the director of the Néret-Minet auction house, called the April 12 sale an "homage" to the Hopi Tribe of Arizona. "I think the Hopis should be happy that so many people want to understand and analyze their civilization," he told The New York Times.

The tribe doesn't see it that way. “The Hopi Tribe is just disgusted with the continued offensive marketing of Hopi culture," cultural preservation director Leigh Kuwanwisiwma told the Times.

The auction house said the Hopi items were acquired by someone who went to the reservation and attended ceremonies there. Other items have been identified as as property of Zuni Pueblo and Acoma Pueblo, both in New Mexico.

Acoma Pueblo said it would investigate the item that's being put up for sale.

Get the Story:
Hopis Try to Stop Paris Sale of Artifacts (The New York Times 4/4)
Hopi Outraged Over Auction Of Religious Items (Fronteras 4/3)
Arizona tribe seeks artifacts up for auction (AP 4/4)

Related Stories:
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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