Pueblo shield withdrawn from Paris artifacts auction | iNFOnews

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Pueblo shield withdrawn from Paris artifacts auction

FILE - In this Monday Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, a supporter of Native Americans holds a leaflet reading "Stop cultural genocide, Eve auction house must stop" to protest outside of the Drouot's auction house during the contested auction of Native American items in Paris, France. A French auction house has withdrawn a Pueblo mask from a contested sale of Native American artifacts after protests from the United States. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
May 30, 2016 - 7:52 AM

PARIS - A French auction house has withdrawn a Pueblo shield from a contested sale of Native American artifacts after protests from the United States.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Phil Frayne called it a "small victory in a larger battle" to repatriate tribal artifacts. Frayne told The Associated Press the U.S. government believes the 19th-century mask might have been taken illegally in the 1970s, and so it was withdrawn by Drouot just before the auction Monday pending further examination.

It was one of 314 items slated for sale Monday in Paris. Protesters waved banners outside Drouot that read "cultural genocide" and "sacred not for sale."

Past sales of tribal artifacts in Paris have been opposed by Native American representatives who consider them sacred and believe they were once stolen from tribes.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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