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.