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Sunday, December 11, 2005

It's OK to Sell Italian Skulls on eBay

From The (Newport News, Va.) Daily Press:

Skull for sale discovered to be part of Indian history

By SUE LINDSEY
Associated Press Writer
December 11, 2005

ROANOKE, Va. -- Steven Mendola thought he would help out the medical profession when he put a human skull up for sale on eBay as a teaching tool. Instead, he's done a service to Virginia's Monacan Indians by returning one of their own.

Sorting through a closet after he took over the Staten Island, N.Y., office of a chiropractor who had died, Mendola found the old skull.

[snip]

The chiropractor checked with New York authorities to make sure he wouldn't be selling someone's long-lost relative. The skull had a sticker on it labeled "Suponi," which he assumed was an Italian name. No one with that name was missing, he was told.

[snip]

Mendola hadn't put the sticker name on the eBay listing, but when he gave it to Dan Reany, then with WSLS-TV, the reporter discovered it was more likely "Saponi."

That's a Siouan tribe related to the Monacans in Virginia. The sale was off--it's a federal crime to sell American Indian remains.

[snip]

[Read the whole story]

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