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Elephant ivory confiscated by U.S. authorities since 1989, when the global ban went into effect--all 6 tons of it--was crushed to smithereens last week (on Nov. 14, 2013) at the National Wildlife Property Repository outside Denver. The smashed pieces of tusks, carvings, masks, bowls and jewelry will be donated to a museum to be displayed. The confiscated ivory represented the killing of over 2,000 elephants. It was meant as a message to consumers more than poachers, who are taking more each year. The demand for ivory pieces is high in the United States, but higher in other countries. Black-market ivory sells for about $1,300 a pound. We think it's too bad that the illegal ivory, some of it beautiful art, could not be sold to raise money for anti-poaching groups. Some of the pieces might have gone into art museums, historical societies and natural history museums.

ivory tusks and carvings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Joe Amon, The Denver Post

Comments  

#6 Denver's Crushed Ivory articleladysherry 2013-11-21 08:42
Now that they have done it, it can not be undone, and I totally agree with Bookaday2000! However, since there might be a use for the crushed Ivory to be ground and used in art mediums projects, and sold as a Reminder of Denver's decision, and that money to be used to aid anti-poachers.
#5 what?Guille 2013-11-20 15:21
Following the same logic, government could sell any other confiscated banned product such as cocaine as long as it is sold for a "good purpose".
#4 Antiquelindasue660 2013-11-20 15:18
What a shame that art was destroyed that way. Surely there was another way to get the point across regarding NOT killing elephants. The elephants and other animals gave their lives for that art - destroying it seems disrespectful. I hope the illegal killing of all animals stops.
#3 Ivory candlesticksmmchomko 2013-11-20 13:33
I have a pair of ornate carved Ivory Candlesticks that my brother-in-law sent as a wedding gift while he was in Vietnam in 1967. What are they worth and can I sell them without difficulty?
#2 Antique Ivory StatuesfRebecca 2013-11-20 12:56
I have an antique ivory statue about six inches tall from Germany. It was given to my father in 1906 in lieu of payment in the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake. Is it legal to possess carved ivory? Is it legal to sell this piece?
#1 Ivorybookaday2000 2013-11-20 12:27
Perhaps the government should have considered selling the ivory in the open market for far less that the $1300.00 black market price to be used for art type work only & with strict anti-resale provisions carrying hefty fines for violation. I fear that destroying all this ivory has just helped increase the black market price.

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