PARIS (AP) — A Paris auction house has defended its practices as within the law after Native American leaders in Washington protested its latest plan to sell off part of their tribal history, getting bi-partisan support.

Hundreds of religious tribal items and art objects are going up for bidding Monday at EVE auction house, including sacred Hopi objects that resemble masks and are considered to be living beings by the tribe.

EVE director Alain Leroy told The Associated Press on Wednesday that "all the items proposed are of legal trade" and that "the public auction process allows the different tribes to acquire their past, and that is exactly what some tribes prefer to do, seeking efficiency and discretion."

U.S. laws prohibiting the sale of Native American ceremonial items hold no weight in France.