PNG ARTIFACTS WITHDRAWN FROM SALE IN AUSTRALIA

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CANBERRA, Australia (November 12, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Rare artifacts from Papua New Guinea which were scheduled to be auctioned in Sydney, Australia, have been withdrawn from sale.

The stone artifacts, believed to be from the Mount Bosavi area in Tari, Southern Highlands province, were to have been auctioned last weekend by the international firm, Sotheby's.

Concern had been expressed in PNG over the sale of the items which the National Museum wants returned to PNG. The National newspaper in Port Moresby quoted the Vice Minister for Education, Science and Culture, Professor John Waiko, as saying there is no Australian legislation which would make this mandatory, but he says he will continue efforts to have the objects returned.

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