Petroglyphs stolen from sacred eastern Sierra site recovered
- Petroglyph panels cut and chiseled off an eastern Sierra rock art site sacred to Native Americans have been recovered by federal investigators, U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials announced Thursday.
The suspected thieves have not been identified and the investigation is continuing into one of the worst acts of vandalism ever committed on the 750,000 acres of public land managed by the BLM field office in Bishop.
"Now, the healing can begin," BLM Field Office Manager Bernadette Lovato said in an interview. "Recovery was a priority for me, and the public outrage intensified the need for them to be returned."
Lovato declined to disclose details about the discovery, except to say, "We found all five panels by following an anonymous tip sent to us in a letter."
"The panels are currently being held as evidence," she said. "After a prosecution, perhaps they may eventually be put on public display somehow, but that will be up to Paiute-Shoshone tribal leaders."
"I feels real good to have them come back home," Paiute tribal historic preservation officer Raymond Andrews said in an interview.
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