Update: Auction House Rejects Good Faith Discussions
Apr 15, 2015 — The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF) manages the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, located at the site of the former “Heart Mountain Relocation Center.” The HMWF has been exploring every possible avenue to prevent a priceless collection of art and crafts created by Japanese Americans, who were illegally confined in remote camps during World War II, from going up for auction this Friday. Unfortunately, on April 13, the HWMF learned their proposal to enable all parties to escape the indignity of a public auction and to assure the rightful stewardship of this exceptional collection had been rejected. It is now clear that the consignors are resolute in allowing this unconscionable auction to proceed. “Over the last several days, we have worked in good faith with the consignor through Rago to find a positive resolution that would end the auction,” said HMWF Executive Director Brian Liesinger. “The fact that we were met with rejection on all of our appeals—and the Japanese American community’s appeals—is baffling.” Along with a growing number of individuals and groups, both within and beyond the Japanese American community, the HMWF is saddened and offended by the consignor and auction house’s apparent indifference to the history, meaning, and appropriate treatment of the invaluable community legacy this collection represents. The value of these precious objects cannot be measured in dollars; their value instead lies in the suffering, resilience, spirit and dignity of those who created them while wrongfully confined behind barbed wire. The HMWF will continue to pursue and support any and all lawful actions to preserve this priceless collection.
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