The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, September 19, 2019


Native Americans try to block French sale of sacred artefacts at the Drouot auction house
A woman statuette (circa 700/1000) is pictured among other artefacts made by Native American tribes on display on the eve of their sale at the Drouot auction house on December 14, 2014 in Paris. The United States is calling for a French auctioneer to halt the sale and instead help items be returned. A letter to the Eve auction house from the US ambassador to France, called for the objects to be pulled from bidding while the Hopi and Navajo tribes "determine if they have recourse to seek their return". AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON.

By: Pascale Mollard-Chenebenoit


PARIS (AFP).- An auction on Monday of sacred masks and objects in France has stirred fresh anger among Native Americans, with representatives of the Navajo people travelling to Paris to try and halt the latest sale.

The Eve auction house has 270 Native American, Eskimo and pre-Colombian artefacts going under the hammer and the United States embassy has stepped in urging a stop to the sale of items cherished by the Navajo and Hopi people.

The sale is the fourth since 2013 that the southwestern Hopi people have tried to block of ceremonial masks and headdresses they consider to embody living spirits.

All previous legal efforts to halt such auctions have failed, although a US foundation last year bought 21 of the masks at a Paris auction to return them to the Hopi people.

A delegation from the Navajo nation led by the tribe's vice-president Rex Lee Jim is in Paris to try and block the sale of eight sacred masks.

"Several representatives came to pray and gather in front of the objects on Saturday," said Eve auctioneer Alain Leroy. 

Meanwhile the Hopi have identified over 40 sacred objects up for auction, according to diplomatic sources.

The Hopi tribe and the native peoples defence group Survival International asked a court on Friday to order the release of the sellers' identities. 

While the sale of sacred Indian artefacts has been outlawed in the United States since 1990 -- legislation which has allowed the tribe to recover items held by American museums in the past -- the law does not extend to sales overseas.

A letter to the Eve auction house on Friday from Jane Hartley, the US ambassador to France, called for the objects to be pulled from bidding while the Hopi and Navajo tribes "determine if they have recourse to seek their return".

US calls for dialogue 
The embassy called for dialogue between the auction house and the tribes.

However the Board of Voluntary Sales "declared this auction legal," said Leroy.

"We have no intention of divulging the name of the sellers or the buyers of the masks. That stays in the private domain."

He said it was legal to own, collect and sell the colourful masks and statuettes.

"This sale is not scandalous because it is not forbidden."

However images of the masks claimed by the Navajo were no longer available on the auction house website on the eve of the sale.

In April last year the sale of some 70 Hopi masks fetched around 930,000 euros ($1.2 million) despite international appeals to halt the auction, decried as a sacrilege by activists including Hollywood legend Robert Redford.

Brightly-coloured, intricate "Kachina" dolls and masks or headdresses are valued at thousands of euros.

One of the jewels of the collection is a 40cm-high double mask resembling two bird's heads stacked upon one another valued at up to 60,000 euros. 

The 18,000-strong Hopi tribe of Arizona uses the masks in highly-private religious ceremonies where they are worn by dancers.

The Navajo are the largest recognised tribe in the US, and count some 200,000 people living in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.




© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse






Today's News

December 15, 2014

'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

Lost Disney short film, the first Christmas film by the US entertainment giant, found in Norway

Archaeologists in Barcelona find dinosaur neck more than five meters long

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York organizes its first ancient glass exhibition

Scores of French and Belgian comics sell for 1.89 million euros at simultaneous auctions

Native Americans try to block French sale of sacred artefacts at the Drouot auction house

Museums announce final installation in multi-year collaboration focusing on the history of American art

Jo Baer, Anne Neukamp, and Diane Simpson exhibit at Mitchell-Innes & Nash

El Greco anniversary celebrated at National Gallery of Art with rare loans from Washington area

Important 20th Century Design Sale to be led by a private collection of French Modern Design

Estorick Collection launches its first crowd funding appeal to restore Carlo Carrà Futurist masterpiece

Exhibition of artworks by Fedor Konyukhov opens at Moscow Museum of Modern Art

'Color Color' at the Concinnati Art Museum showcases digital prints and poetry

Old Masters meet modern art at Roseberys London 9 December auction of pictures

Exhibition documents the early years of performance art in Ireland

Exhibition of new paintings by Devin Powers opens at Lesley Heller Workspace

Christmas chimes early for Bonhams with £1.5 million Fine Watch Sale

Conceptual glass artist brings virtual connections to life in Charlotte's Web

Nationwide search begins for UK's Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015

Exhibition of works by Australian photographer Murray Fredericks opens at Hamiltons

Damien Whitmore appointed Creative Director of Phillips

Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna presents the work of Lawrence Carroll

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful