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Auction house in France goes ahead with sale of tribal property

An auction house in France went ahead with a sale of tribal property despite objections from the U.S. Embassy.

The Eve auction house put Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo and Navajo items up for sale on Friday. Included were some sacred Hopi and Navajo masks that are used in ceremonies and weren't meant to be sold or taken from the tribes.

"The sale of a sacred object cannot be dismissed with the wave of a hand as a mere commercial transaction," the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. "Native American sacred objects should be better protected, rather than being turned over to the highest bidder without reference to what the objects represent to the traditional cultures that created them."

According to The Los Angeles Times, nine masks were sold. At least 27 were in the auction catalog.

Get the Story:
Despite Legal Challenges, Sale of Hopi Religious Artifacts Continues in France (The New York Times 6/30)
Sacred Hopi tribal masks are again sold at auction in Paris (The Los Angeles Times 6/28)
Native American Hopi tribe artifacts go under the hammer in Paris (AFP 6/27)

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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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