Auction of contested African artifacts going ahead in Paris

PARIS (AP) — A Nigerian commission has called for the cancellation of a sale of sacred Nigerian statues in Paris on Monday, which they allege were stolen. Christie’s auction house has defended the sale, saying that the artworks were legitimately acquired and the sale will go ahead. French courts have consistently ruled in favor of auction houses in recent years whose sales of sacred objects, such as Hopi tribal masks, were contested by rights groups and representatives of the tribes. Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments says the objects were looted during the Biafran war in the late 1960s.