Hopi Mask Auction Update December 12, 2013

Arizona: Auctioned Artifacts to Be Returned to Tribes
PARIS December 10, 2013- "A day after more than 27 of their sacred artifacts were sold at a contested auction in Paris for $757,000, the Hopi and San Carlos Apache Indians of Arizona learned Tuesday that 24 of the items had been bought by a foundation that plans to return them to the tribes. The Hopi artifacts are colorful and intricate masklike items held to be imbued with divine spirits. Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, a vice president of the Los Angeles-based Annenberg Foundation, said it had decided to buy the items, at a cost of $530,000, once it became clear that the Paris auction house EVE would not delay the sale to allow the tribes time to gather proof that the items had been stolen from their lands long ago. “These are not trophies to have on one’s mantel,” he said. " Tom Mashburg for New York Times

Background on Gregory Annenberg Weingarten

Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, a Vice President and Director of the Annenberg Foundation, is dedicated to supporting innovative projects in the arts, education and humanitarian efforts.  From his Paris-based office, Gregory is among the most generous American contributors to France, as well as to organizations throughout the United States.
Gregory’s own experience as an artist has fostered a deep appreciation for the visual arts. Funding to the Musées des Arts Décoratifs in Paris has supported the creation of educational spaces within the museum, as well as two key acquisitions: “Deuxième Rhinocéros" by Francois-Xavier Lalanne, and “Barbie Foot,” by Chloé Ruchon.  As a champion of the unique bond between the United States and France, Gregory has helped to showcase American artists at the Centre National d'art et de Culture Georges Pompidou with the “Morphosis” show in 2006 and the 2009 exhibit of the late American sculptor Alexander Calder.
In the United States, Gregory has funded significant and signature projects by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), including the creation of a comprehensive digital archive of over 2,000 German Expressionist prints and drawings.  As a direct result of this project, MoMA launched the critically-acclaimed exhibition, “Expressionism:  The Graphic Impulse," in 2011.  As a founding donor of the French Regional American Museum Exchange, Gregory has created a legacy of promoting cultural diplomacy and fostering partnerships to develop exhibitions, innovative educational and public programs that reach a global audience.
Building on the belief in the power of education to transform lives, Gregory has supported projects at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, including research on Native American identity, and the creation of an Endowment Fund for Curator of the North American Section.  In an effort to energize educational outreach to underserved communities in Paris and across France, Gregory has partnered with the Musée du Louvre to develop state-of-the-art programming in schools and at the museum.
Gregory’s philanthropic work has reached more than 130 organizations across the globe.  This effort to create a vibrant partnership between France and America earned him the title of “Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters), awarded by French Minister of Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres in 2007. In 2009, he was named Grand Mécène, Grand Donateur de la Culture, and that same year, his wife, Regina – a partner in his philanthropy, earned the prestigious “Legion of Honor” distinction.
Gregory graduated from Stanford with a degree in Political Science. He later worked as a journalist at the Times of London, before embarking on a career as an artist. He currently shows his work primarily in the U.S. and France.
 
Annenberg Foundation
The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to non-profit organizations in the United States and around the world.[2] Some of the Foundation's core initiatives are the Annenberg/Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) project (now Annenberg Learner), which funds many educational television shows broadcast on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Public television in the United States as well as The Annenberg Community Beach House, The Annenberg Space for Photography, Metabolic Studio, explore.org and the upcoming Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts.
Walter H. Annenberg headed the Annenberg Foundation until his death in 2002. Leonore, his wife, ran it until her death in March 2009. Since then, the foundation's trusteeship has been led by Wallis Annenberg and three of her children: Lauren Bon, Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Charles Annenberg Weingarten.
Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Wallis Annenberg
Vice President and Director, Lauren Bon
Vice President and Director, Gregory Annenberg Weingarten
Vice President and Director, Charles Annenberg Weingarten