Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Criticism of Antique Ivory Ban Heats Up-- But Is It All Too Late?

Tom Mashberg, reporting for the New York Times, writes about wide-spread concerns raised with regards to what amounts to an administrative ban on the sale of antique ivory.

Predictably, the bureaucrats and an advisory panel packed with activists are unmoved. Indeed, they know full well of its scope and impact, but they nonetheless contend that the efforts of some smugglers to disguise new ivory  as old justifies such draconian measures.

The real problem, of course, is that at least some of the same collectors and members of the trade who claim to be "blindsided" had probably heard at least something about the Obama Administration considering changes to how antique ivory would be treated, but then they did absolutely nothing about it.  Now, unfortunately, it may be too late to change government policy.

One would think this news would make other collectors awake from their slumber, but will it?

Indeed, it remains to be seen whether the trade and collectors of Egyptian antiquities are similarly oblivious to news of potential "emergency import restrictions" and calls by their proponents for them to be just a prelude to a complete halt in sales of any antiquity lacking a stamp of approval from the government in Cairo.

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