Target: President of France, François Hollande
Goal: Stop sale of sacred Native American artifacts and instead return them to the appropriate tribes
A French auctioneer is planning to sell artifacts made by Native American tribes rather than return them to the tribes. The United States ambassador to France has been trying to halt the bidding at Eve Auction House to determine if the Hopi and Navajo tribes tribes have “recourse to seek their return.”
According to an embassy statement, a Navajo delegation has argued that the artifacts rightly belong to the tribes after they viewed them at an auction in Paris. The Navajo tribe considers these objects to be living beings and saw many sacred belongings in the auction such as statuettes and masks. Jane Hartley, the ambassador to France, is also trying to convince the director of Eve, Alain Leroy, to encourage the sellers of the artifacts to contact tribal members in the hopes that a deal can be made.
The Hopi tribe and the native peoples have a defense group called Survival International, which has raised support from activists and has called upon the French courts to reveal the identity of the sellers. Survival International has also asked the courts to block the sale of the objects, but the courts have denied this request three times since April 2013. Other groups have raised money in order to buy back some of the artifacts, but this is incredibly costly and not many artifacts can be returned to the tribes in this way.
Native American tribes view these artifacts as living beings and have a special connection with them. They are not simply art or collections to them and should be returned to the Hopi and Navajo tribes immediately. Please sign this petition to put pressure on France to return these objects to their rightful owners.
Dear President François Hollande,
An auction to sell Native American artifacts is currently taking pace at the Eve auction house in France. The Navajo and Hopi tribes are very upset over this sale because these objects have been created by their people and are considered living beings to them. They need to be returned to their rightful owners immediately.
The United States ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, has called upon the French to release these artifacts or at least encourage diplomacy that would result in the Native American tribes getting their artifacts returned. The refusal of the sellers to contact the tribes and the resistance of the court to halt the sale is troubling. People need to understand that these artifacts have much more meaning to these tribes than the average art collector.
Please put a halt to these auctions and encourage the sellers to work out a deal with the tribes that would result in getting their belongings returned.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: public domain via Wikipedia