Museums and musicians struggle with new rules on travel with ivory

Posted on: June 25, 2014

“Museums and musicians are concerned that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s stricter rules on the transport of items containing elephant ivory are inflicting unintended complications on the music community,” reports Dirk Lammers in an Associated Press story that is circulating widely, including on Tuesday’s (6/24) ABCNews website. “Musicians and collectors say the rules will limit their ability to travel abroad with antique and vintage instruments they acquired decades ago, and could put them risk of fines and the possible seizure of their instruments. ‘We’ve kind of been caught up in the clampdown that’s designed to prevent the extinction of these populations, but we’re not really the ones causing the problem,’ said Arian Sheets, curator of stringed instruments for the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota.… Heather Noonan, vice president for advocacy for the League of American Orchestras, said members have worries because the permitting system is confusing and it limits the airports musicians can fly through. Noonan said a great number of professional and student musicians are playing with bows that contain a small quantity of African elephant ivory, which were legally crafted and legally obtained.”

Posted June 25, 2014