Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Rules on Ivory: Precedent for a Ban on the Sale of Ancient Coins and Antiquities?

The Obama Administration has announced some tough rules on the sale, export and import of ivory meant to protect endangered African elephants. While archaeological activists will no doubt be encouraged by this ban, hoping it will set precedent for a similar ban on the sale of antiquities, the differences between a trade in material taken by killing endangered species and one relating to inanimate objects like ancient coins that are widely and legally traded in source countries themselves should be obvious to all but the most ardent opponents of private collecting.

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