New Mexico

French auction house defends upcoming sale of sacred items

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, May 24, 2016 file photo, a man looks at Native American artifacts as a group of American Indian advocates hold a news conference nearby at the Smithsonian National Musem of the American Indian, in Washington, to contest a Paris auction house's upcoming auction of Native American remains and sacred objects. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Thursday she's troubled by the auctioning off of objects held sacred by Native American tribes and she's calling on the French government to help find a path toward repatriating the items. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, May 24, 2016 file photo, a man looks at Native American artifacts as a group of American Indian advocates hold a news conference nearby at the Smithsonian National Musem of the American Indian, in Washington, to contest a Paris auction house's upcoming auction of Native American remains and sacred objects. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Thursday she's troubled by the auctioning off of objects held sacred by Native American tribes and she's calling on the French government to help find a path toward repatriating the items. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 24, 2016 file photo, Hoopa Valley Tribal Council member Leilani Pole burns incense and says a prayer as a group of American Indian advocates hold a news conference at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, in Washington, to contest a Paris auction house's upcoming auction of Native American remains and sacred objects. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Thursday she's troubled by the auctioning off of objects held sacred by Native American tribes and she's calling on the French government to help find a path toward repatriating the items. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

    FILE - In this May 24, 2016 file photo, Hoopa Valley Tribal Council member Leilani Pole burns incense and says a prayer as a group of American Indian advocates hold a news conference at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, in Washington, to contest a Paris auction house's upcoming auction of Native American remains and sacred objects. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Thursday she's troubled by the auctioning off of objects held sacred by Native American tribes and she's calling on the French government to help find a path toward repatriating the items. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 24, 2016 file photo, a Native American flag hangs far above American Indian advocates as they hold a news conference at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, to contest a Paris auction house's upcoming auction of Native American remains and sacred objects. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Thursday she's troubled by the auctioning off of objects held sacred by Native American tribes and she's calling on the French government to help find a path toward repatriating the items. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

    FILE - In this May 24, 2016 file photo, a Native American flag hangs far above American Indian advocates as they hold a news conference at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, to contest a Paris auction house's upcoming auction of Native American remains and sacred objects. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Thursday she's troubled by the auctioning off of objects held sacred by Native American tribes and she's calling on the French government to help find a path toward repatriating the items. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Paris auction house criticized for putting up for bid objects held sacred by Native American tribes is defending its upcoming sale.

EVE auction house director Alain Leroy said Friday all the items are of legal trade in both the U.S. and France and that tribes will have an opportunity through the auction process to acquire their past.

Monday's planned auction will feature hundreds of religious items and art pieces from the Americas, Africa and Asia. Included is a ceremonial shield from a Native American tribe in New Mexico.

Acoma Pueblo Gov. Kurt Riley argues it's illegal to trade and sell Native American items considered sacred or used in worship. He has reached out to the French people through an open letter in an effort to halt such auctions.