More on the recent raids on Italy’s Ivory shops, from Italian newspaper, La Repubblica:
Per Google translate:
Blood and ivory near the Vatican is the business of the tusks of elephants
Between the walls that divide the holy city of Rome there is a trade of objects derived from the precious material. The Italian Forestry Corps on Friday seized religious artifacts for 150 thousand euro only in the famous gallery Savelli.
by CORRADO ZUNINO
“Blood and Ivory” goes to the Vatican, yes. As he told National Geographic journalist environmental investigations, Bryan Christy, for the walls that divide the Holy City of Rome passes a not insignificant part of the trade of objects derived from the tusks of African elephants. The Italian Forestry Corps, with its operational arm Cites (deals with protected species), last Friday seized religious artifacts for 150 thousand euro in one of the most famous galleries close to the Vatican Walls: the Savelli. Operating since 1898, between St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican has five of external galleries, shops and warehouses for religious objects. In a Cites agents found in elephant ivory pieces also sold 40 000 euro: religious statues hand-carved crosses and rosaries, all in the window from 400 euro. A large part of the material seized, say the investigators, not had documentation certifying that the legal origin (the Washington Agreement and subsequent agreements between individual countries that regulate this delicate trade). The administrator of the Roman gallery, denounced, has assured that the items seized are mostly ancient legacies and the exposed ivory comes from games prior to 1946 (and therefore not subject to the limitations contemporary). In recent days, the Forest Service had made a seizure of religious materials ivory in Abruzzo and Rome at this time the operation continues. The investigation
National Geographic had shown how the ivory trade was supported by the religious devotion: Christian-Catholic, Coptic, Muslim, Buddhist. “The modern world has been spared in its ivory objects of everyday use, the handles of the brushes, billiard balls and piano keys are no longer made with materials from the tusks of elephants,” he told the U.S. journalist Christy , “remains large the religious market.” Monsignor Cristobal Garcia, one of the most popular and powerful prelates of the Philippines, has a small museum of icons ivory in its offices in Manila and offers tips for import-export of illegal material. journalist had reported on the National Geographic “the ‘ivory offered in the window “in the Gallery Savelli overlooking St. Peter’s Square and was reported as” the State of the Vatican, which has also signed international agreements against drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crime, never signed the Washington Convention that protects endangered species. ” This Convention was signed by 176 states. “With regard to the sale of ivory in the Vatican City,” Christy said La Repubblica: “I think the most important thing is not whether the works are legal or illegal, but rather whether it is right to sell. Now it is proved to have quell’avorio elephants are killed in a brutal way, you kill the rangers who must protect, feeds a corruption of the world. “