In the United States, a “Picture Cave” with rock paintings more than a thousand years old was sold at auction, The Guardian reports.
The bidder, who wished to remain anonymous, bought it and the adjacent land for $ 2.2 million.
Since 1953, the cave and the surrounding areas have been owned by a family from the city of St. Louis, who used the site for hunting. While for the indigenous peoples of America, this place is sacred. Their ancestors buried the dead there and conducted rituals. More than 290 drawings have been preserved on the walls of the cave.
Representatives of the Osage tribe learned about the sale last year; simultaneously, they tried to buy the object directly. However, they failed in doing this — the money they offered was not enough.
The auction was also opposed by anthropologist Carol Diaz-Granados, who, together with her husband James Duncan, devoted 20 years to studying the “Picture Cave” and wrote a book about it.
“The sale of a sacred place for American Indians sends the wrong signal. It’s like putting the Sistine Chapel under the hammer,” the researcher said.