Sadly, Two Million Tusks appears to misunderstand that mature support for wildlife preservation and the desire to conserve works of art made in part or in total from endangered species are not mutually exclusive concepts.
Moreover, in their letter, Ms Ravula and Ms Alexandra are disingenuous by insinuating any lack of commitment from the established art world in wishing to save the elephant, and implying that the argument is simply about commerce. Equally, interest in the sort of works of art that the government already proposes to be exempt from the ban has no bearing on the illicit trade: there is no evidence to the contrary.
Such objects belong to our cultural heritage and are studied, collected and traded by educated and sophisticated institutions and individuals.
Curators, collectors and dealers, in unequivocally supporting all the stated aims of the ivory bill, simply wish to see proper protection put in place to ensure that every appropriate historic work of art, irrespective of financial value, continues to enjoy permitted circulation, and be appreciated for the benefit of future generations. The ivory bill will pass into law and it will prevent the trade in the undated ivory that appears in smaller outlets and online, and high time too.
"The ivory law will prevent the trade in undated ivory – and high time too"
I don’t doubt Two Million Tusks welcomes the sage words of the conservationist Lucy Vigne (Financial Times, 09/09/16): “This recent issue in the West has been taking away valuable time and resources from dealing with big issues we are facing urgently,” referring to the trade in new ivory and poaching in Africa.
We should all support Ravula and Alexandra in their efforts in the cause of the endangered elephant.
Martin P Levy FSA
H. Blairman & Sons
* * * *
MADAM – Despite the cultural disaster that will follow, the removal of the exemption for antique ivory is happening. So, Two Million Tusks have got its wish and this hasty and ill-advised ivory bill will pass. Yet the organisation does not seem content.
Louise Ravula and Jane Alexandra feel they must now write to object to those few of us, who know the impact this bill will have on Britain’s cultural fabric, speaking out and acting to disagree with them.
Let me set their minds to rest now: those of us who value our heritage will never be silenced.
We are still a democracy and we will speak, write and tweet truthfully the facts as we know them to be. Even when it is passed, we will continue to oppose this ivory bill.
Moreover, we will not take our eye away from any ensuing acts of meaningless and wanton destruction the ivory bill will cause through ignorance, greed or neglect.
We will try to keep a record of every item we can, and continually test and monitor what appears to be a legislation without either practicable means of enforcement or safeguard. Please help and send details of any objects mutilated, scrapped or destroyed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Baggott (Dealer) #protectantiqueivory
Please note the editor reserves the right to edit letters for reasons of space and clarity.