8 Apr 2010

US collection of Maori, Pacific taonga to be auctioned

5:02 pm on 8 April 2010

An Auckland auction house has won the right to sell a collection of Maori and Pacific taonga being made surplus from an American museum.

Neil Campbell, from Webbs, says he was approached by the Zanesville Museum of Art in Ohio to value the items which were being cleared to make room for more Native American artefacts.

Much of the collection was gifted by foreign aid worker Eric Young, who was based in the south Pacific in the 1950s and 1960s.

Mr Campbell was able to convince the museum board that repatriating the collection was the right thing to do.

He told Waatea News the Zanesville collection will be auctioned in mid-June, and by law the Maori items will have to stay in the country.