Cultural policy Art law News USA

Antique dealers have a bone to pick

Trade groups call for reform of new rules on selling ivory

Antique trade groups in the US have proposed reforms to new rules that make it illegal to sell ivory objects that were imported before 1982. Antiques made in the US that contain ivory are also prohibited from being sold. Neither type of object qualifies for the “antique exemption”, which allows the trade of objects more than 100 years old.

In a letter to Dan Ashe, the director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which enforces the rule, members of the Art and Antique Dealers League of America and the National Antique and Art Dealers Association of America ask organisation to “address the imbalance and lack of clarity” relating to documentation requirements. The groups also recommend the creation of an advisory panel to review permit applications to “create a transparent, licit market in ivory objects that are vetted and certified as genuine antiques (ie 100 years old)”.

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