Raid on Vatican, Abruzzo Ivory Shops, Religious Statues Seized

Forestry Department officials in Italy have just raided ivory shops in Vatican City and Abruzzo, seizing ivory religious sculptures. 

Here is a google translate of the press release:

These are artifacts representing religious subjects made of elephant ivory. The cost of goods for sale ranged from 400 to 40,000 euro, for a total value of more than 150 thousand euro

29 Oct 2012. Rome. Statuettes and other precious ivory objects of a religious nature, beautifully sculpted by hand, were seized by agents of the CITES Service of the Central State Forestry Corps of Rome, in an important gallery in Rome at the Vatican Walls. 

 

The operation is part of a wider system of checks carried out by the Forestry in some shops in the area particularly frequented by international tourists. material seized from commercial value, was devoid of documentation certifying that the legal origin and the regular acquisition. All subjects were exposed for sale in the gallery and the cost of goods for sale ranged from 400 to 40,000 euro, for a total value of more than 150 thousand euro. administrator of the Roman tunnel  was immediately denounced by the agents of Forestry to ‘Judicial Authority in Rome and is now threatening the arrest of three months to one year or a fine from 7,500 to 75,000 euro. Poaching significantly reduced the natural populations of Asian and African elephants, which are disappearing as a result of trade for the most illegal raw ivory for the construction of statues, jewelry, stamps and souvenirs, as reported recently in the international media of articles on religious subjects to a specific market, such as those found during this operation. The seizure follows a few days to other objects in elephant ivory always performed by the State Forestry Corps, in Abruzzo, and highlights the special attention that the CITES Service of the State Forestry Corps is turning to this sector of the market.

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