24 Katsinam, Hopi sacred ceremonial masks, were auctioned off in Paris in
April 2013. The sacred masks were verified as being over a century old.
"A few hours before the sale, a Paris municipal court judge had ruled that it could go forward, finding that the masklike objects, despite their divine status among the Hopis, could not be likened to dead or alive beings. A lawyer for the Hopis had argued that the tribe believes that the works embody living spirits, making it immoral to sell them under french law.
Monroe Warshaw, an art collector from New York who bought two pieces for about $36,500, told The Associated Press that he did not believe that the artifacts had been stolen from the Hopis and praised the anonymous collector for preserving them. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/french-judge-rules-that-auction-of-hopi-masks-can-proceed/
Earlier in 2013 a collection of 70 kachina masks were sold at an auction. One of these masks was returned to the tribe by their lawyer who purchased it as a gift for the Hopi tribe.