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Paul Roberts, Lyon & Turnbull: 'If the legislation proceeds as planned, it will be totally unmanageable for all auctioneers'

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Consider the wide range of items this involves, from EPNS teapots, chests of drawers, miniatures, scientific instruments, Art Deco figures… The list goes on.

Could I call on the ATG, which has a full understanding of the issues involved, to mobilise dealers, auctioneers and all other interested parties to speak directly to their own MPs to try an head off this particular aspect of an ill-conceived piece of legislation. If we work together, that’s probably nearly every single one of parliament’s 650 MPs.

Speak to your MP to head off this aspect of an ill-conceived piece of legislation

If the legislation goes forward as planned, it will be totally unmanageable for all auctioneers, particularly for smaller auction houses with a rapid turnaround of less valuable items.

This will inevitably lead to a series of totally unnecessary prosecutions fuelled by the possible whistleblowing enthusiastic conservationists.

Despite their well-meaning intentions, they really have no idea of the implications of their actions on innocent, unsuspecting citizens – anyone who buys, sells or owns antiques with ivory.

Frankly neither do those who have drafted the outline of this undeliverable ‘compromise’.

Paul Roberts, deputy chairman Lyon & Turnbull