Tuesday, August 11, 2009
PROTECTING AMERICAN INDIAN ARTIFACTS
An undercover operation just led to the arrest of 25 diggers, sellers and buyers of Indian artifacts allegedly removed from federal lands and grave sites out West. Thefts from American Indian archaeological sites have been a problem for many years. This particular ring is charged with running a major business involving truckloads of stolen pieces and hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. Auction houses and galleries that sell legal Indian pieces are concerned that they too will be investigated--and that the investigation may scare off customers. Don't be scared. Legally acquired Indian pieces like the moccasins shown here sell for high prices at many shops and auction houses. Cowan's Auctions of Cincinnati sold these moccasins for $540.