Tribal officials in New Mexico mark return of cultural items

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Tribal officials are marking the return of dozens of cultural items to Acoma Pueblo, where leaders have spent years pressing for the repatriation of ceremonial items.

In a statement Wednesday, tribal Gov. Kurt Riley called the items’ return a “great joy and relief.”

They include what he and an attorney described to The Associated Press as six large items and dozens of smaller ones, with perhaps the most significant a sacred ceremonial shield that vanished years ago.

Riley says the shield is similar to one that remains at a Paris auction house more than two years after an international uproar halted bidding on it.

Riley says the now-repatriated shield had been listed for sale at a Montana gallery. The gallery voluntarily turned it over to authorities.

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