State Representative Kaniela Ing (Chair, House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs) issued the following statement in response to Native Hawaiians who are protesting the sale of certain artifacts in Paris, France.
“Here is a rich guy and an auctioneer trying to make millions off ‘Hawaiian’ artifacts without reaching out to Bishop Museum or to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for authentication. It’s irresponsible, unprofessional, and disrespectful to our culture.
“However, if these artifacts are indeed authentic, we need to find some funds to bring them home for safe keeping immediately. I’m exploring whether state funds are available and putting a call out to all private residents with means. I’m hoping that a hero emerges who will not only buy the artifacts but donate them to the Bishop Museum for all people to enjoy in perpetuity. Hawaiians need to send the message that our ancestors and culture are not for sale.”
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