Court allows auction of tribe's masks; ruling.
It came despite pleas from the US Government for the sale to be delayed.
The landmark decision meant the controversial auction was due to go ahead in Paris yesterday.
The auctioneer argued that blocking the sale could force French museums to empty their collections.
Hopi Indians from Arizona insist the masks are stolen spiritual vessels and they want them back.
The tribe's French lawyer Pierre Servan-Schreiber said: "The Hopi tribe will be extremely saddened by the decision, especially since the judgment recognises these masks have a sacred value."