Quantcast
Connect with us

Activists outraged over auction of sacred Hopi tribal objects

Published

on

Activists vowed Thursday to block the proposed sale of sacred objects originating from Arizona’s Hopi tribe at a Paris auction, just months after a similar controversy stoked outrage.

Tribal people’s advocacy group Survival International said it would go to court in the French capital on Tuesday in an attempt to halt the sale of around 25 objects, known as katsinam, revered by the Hopi tribe.

ADVERTISEMENT

The looming court battle is a replay of the legal saga that erupted in April when French firm Neret-Minet Tessier & Sarrou ignored internationals appeals to halt the sale of some 70 katsinam that eventually fetched around 930,000 euros ($1.3 million).

The latest sale is being conducted over two days by Alain Leroy of auctioneers EVE on December 9 and 11, despite please from the Hopi’s religious authorities not to go ahead.

“It’s a matter of enormous regret that another auction house seems prepared to defy public opinion and the feelings of the Hopi, who are these objects’ rightful owners,” Survival International director Stephen Corry said in a statement.

“The previous auction generated such a torrent of unwelcome publicity for the auctioneers that you might have thought anyone would think twice before doing the same thing again — but clearly the large sums of money to be made from this immoral trade are too tempting.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I hope the Paris courts will this time block the sale — none of these objects should be sold.”

Lawyer Pierre Servan-Schreiber, who led an unsuccessful bid to halt the previous sale in April, will head London-based Survival and the Hopi’s latest courtroom battle.

Servan-Schreiber bought one of the katsinam sold at the April auction and later returned it to the Hopi.

ADVERTISEMENT

The last auction was decried by activists, including Hollywood legend Robert Redford, who described it as a “criminal gesture” and “sacrilege.”

The sale involved dozens of striking, brightly colored mask-like kachina visages and headdresses that the 18,000-strong Hopi say are blessed with divine spirits.

The challenge for the Hopi is that while the sale of sacred Indian artifacts has been outlawed in the United States since 1990 — legislation that has allowed the tribe to recover items held by American museums in the past — the law does not extend to sales overseas.

ADVERTISEMENT

[Image via Agence France-Presse]


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Why key Senate Republicans should be terrified as Trump drags the party down

Published

on

Incumbent Republican senators in swing states and blue states find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, criticizing President Donald Trump can result in a burdensome GOP primary battle; on the other hand, being perceived as pro-Trump can be the kiss of death in places where Trump is unpopular. And according to a report by Eli Yokley for Morning Consult’s website, things aren’t getting any better for incumbent GOP senators who are considered vulnerable in the 2020 election.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘It was nutso’: Devin Nunes reportedly made himself look ridiculous by obsessing over the Steele Dossier in Ukraine hearing

Published

on

devin nunes defeat

While the House Intelligence Committee is spearheading impeachment with its investigation into President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal, it seems Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California can’t stop obsessing about the Steele Dossier.

According to the Daily Beast, the ranking member of the committee launched into an exchange during the closed impeachment inquiry hearings about the dossier on Thursday with Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union who is at the center of the Ukraine scandal. He was a point person in Trump’s efforts to get the Ukrainians to announce an investigation into the 2016 election as well as former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for favorable treatment from the White House.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump was ‘yelling and screaming’: Reporter says GOP source fears Trump is ‘not in control of himself’ — and getting even worse

Published

on

CNN correspondent Jamie Gangel reported Thursday that Republicans at the contentious White House meeting the previous day featuring President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were deeply alarmed by the GOP leader’s behavior and demeanor.

Citing a Republican source, who reportedly conferred with others who attended the meeting, said they were “completely shaken” and “shell shocked” by the president.

Pelosi and fellow Democrats had tried to make that point publicly on Wednesday, saying that Trump had a “meltdown,” went on a “diatribe,” and was insulting to the House speaker. Pelosi added that she was also concerned about the president’s “health.” But at least in public, some Republicans tried to turn the tables on Pelosi, saying it was she who behaved inappropriately by walking out of the meeting. However, even these Republicans didn’t really deny that Trump was acting bullying and insulting toward the speaker.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image