Controversial sale of US tribal masks held in Paris

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Controversial sale of US tribal masks held in Paris

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Controversial sale of US tribal masks held in Paris

by AFP Videos 0:54 mins

Controversial sale of US tribal masks held in Paris

by AFP Videos 0:54 mins

SHOTLIST PARIS, France, DEC 9 2013, SOURCE: AFPTV - VAR of the exhibition of masks SOUNDBITE 1, Pierre Servan-Schreiber, lawyer for the Hopi tribe (French, 13 sec): "The essence of life for Hopis is a sacred dance during which the masks are worn, and that is the only time they are ever seen. So to see them now on a picket with a price tag is apalling." ["La quintessence de la vie des Hopis s'organise autour de danses sacrées au cours desquelles ces masques sont portés, et d'ailleurs on les voit à aucun autre moment. Donc pour eux de les voir sur des piquets comme ça avec une étiquette, et un prix dessus, c'est absolument bouleversant."] SOUNDBITE 2, Alain Leroy, auctioneer (French, 13 sec): "The law is the same whether it's American or French: people are free to practice their religion but an object is not off the market just because it's sacred to someone." [Le droit qu'il soit américain ou français, dit la même chose: liberté de culte des uns et des autres, et un objet n'est pas hors commerce simplement parce qu'il est sacré pour une personne ou pour une autre".] SOUNDBITE 3, Pierre Servan-Schreiber, lawyer for the Hopi tribe (French, 11 sec): "All we asked was to be given the time to determine where these masks come from and whether they had been legally imported into France, which we doubt. We just wanted a little time." ["Tout ce que nous avons demandé en justice c'est qu'on nous donne le temps de déterminer d'où viennent ces masques et s'ils ont été légalement importés en France ou pas, ce dont nous doutons. On voulait juste avoir un petit peu de temps."] /// ---------------------------------------------------------------- AFP TEXT STORY France-US-heritage-art-auction-diplomacy,lead Controversial French sale of tribal masks to go ahead PARIS, Dec 9, 2013 (AFP) - A Paris auction of sacred objects from the Hopi and San Carlos Apache Native American tribes will go ahead Monday despite objections from the United States and activists, auctioneers EVE said. The US embassy had asked Paris to suspend the sale of the ceremonial masks and head-dresses after the failure Friday of a legal challenge by advocacy group Survival International on behalf of Arizona's Hopi tribe. In a letter to the EVE auction house, the embassy said it had asked for the suspension so that the two tribes "might have the opportunity to identify the objects, investigate their provenance and determine whether they have a claim to recover the items under the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, to which France is a signatory, or under other laws". But EVE announced Monday that "on the one hand, the Hopi tribe had the possibility to lay out its arguments in front of the judge and was dismissed, and on the other hand, an exchange of detailed letters took place with the San Carlos Apache tribe". "The sale will therefore take place in an entirely legal manner," auctioneer Alain Leroy said in a statement. The sale begins at 1300 GMT. pcm-pjl/mbx/dh

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