Auction of 4,500-yr-old idol stopped

Item was to be sold by Christie's for up to $1.2 million

(ANSA) - Cagliari, November 27 - A Sardinian politician said Thursday that islanders have won an early victory in their fight to prevent a New York auction house from selling an ancient mother goddess icon that could be worth up to $1.2 million.
    Mauro Pili, who is heading a campaign to stop what he calls the "robbery of the heritage and civilization of Sardinia", said that the auction of Dea Madre had been scheduled for December 11, but has been stopped.
    He wants the marble goddess, which dates from about 4500 BC and whose price range extends from $400,000 up to $1.2 million, returned to Sardinia.
    The battle against "archaeological theft" has reached "a decisive point" in stopping a "shameful" auction, said Pili.
    The idol had been listed for auction at Christie's in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza.


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