Indigenous leaders had hoped to purchase the land, which is home to 1,000-year-old drawings and was auctioned off for $2.2m

A Missouri cave containing Native American artwork from more than 1,000 years ago was sold at auction Tuesday, disappointing leaders of the Osage Nation who hoped to buy the land to “protect and preserve our most sacred site”.

A bidder agreed to pay US$2.2m to private owners for what’s known as “Picture Cave,” along with the 43 hilly acres that surround it near the town of Warrenton, about 60 miles (97km) west of St Louis.

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