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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A New York art dealer who bought two Native American masks for $40,000 at a Paris auction in April has given them to the Hopi tribe in northern Arizona.

Monroe Warshaw tells the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff he's just happy he did the right thing by handing over artifacts the tribe considers sacred.

Advocates for the tribe had argued in court in Paris that the masks represent their dead ancestors' spirits and are not art. A judge refused to block the auction of dozens of masks believed taken from the tribe's reservation in the 1930s and 1940s.

A tribal rights group bought one and returned it to the tribe in July.

The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office director tells the Daily Sun that Warshaw handed over the items last week.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Sun, http://www.azdailysun.com

Associated Press,

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