Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hopi Tribe and HARP File Lawsuit in France to Stop Future Sales of Sacred Objects

Native News Online, April 12, 2015

The Hopi Tribal Council and the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP) filed a lawsuit in France to appeal a recent decision by the French “Conseil des Ventes” (“Board of Auction Sales”), an administrative body in charge of regulating and supervising auction sales on the French market.

The announcement of the lawsuit filing was made jointly by Herman G. Honanie, chairman of the Hopi Tribe and Ori Z. Soltes, of HARP.

Although the Conseil has the administrative power to suspend sales, it refused to suspend a December 15, 2014 auction sale of sacred “kwaa tsi” owned by the Hopi tribe, the Conseil allowed the sale to proceed after a special hearing held in Paris on December 11, 2014, rejecting the arguments put forth by the Hopi Tribe and HARP that title had never vested with subsequent possessors due to the sacred nature of these objects.

The lawsuit papers were filed with the main Civil Court in Paris called the “Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris” to appeal the denial of HARPs’ request for the administrative suspension of the December 15, 2014 auction sale of sacred Hopi objects, also known as “Friends.”

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