Skull and crossbones removed from auction

Jan. 22, 2010 at 9:43 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A human skull and crossbones once used as a ballot box by a secret society at Yale University will not be auctioned as planned, a New York auction house said.

Christie's auction house confirmed in a statement the human remains once used by the secret Order of Skull and Bones at Yale University were removed from Friday's auction due to a claim on the rights to the remains, CNN said.

The identity of the party behind the claim was not released.

The withdrawn auction item was also to include a book containing the names of all Skull and Bones members between 1831 and 1877.

The bones used as a ballot box by the collegiate group were estimated to be worth as much as $20,000.

The sale was previously opposed by the World Archaeological Congress, which labeled it an "affront to human dignity."

CNN said the archaeological group also suggested the skull may be protected under federal laws because of suspicions it is from an American Indian.

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