Lawmakers try to protect New Mexico tribal artifacts

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some of New Mexico’s top lawmakers continue efforts to protect tribal artifacts.

Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich met with tribal leaders Tuesday.

They are leading the push to stop the theft and illegal trafficking of culturally significant Native American items.

“They are not pieces of art. They are spiritual objects deeply important for tribal identity. Theft not only robs the tribes of a sacred object it robs them of a piece of their spiritual identity,” said Senator Udall.

The senators have proposed laws to limit the export of sacred items and close loopholes allowing them to be sold as art.

Earlier this year, a ceremonial shield from Acoma Pueblo appeared in a Paris auction house. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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