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Despite the considerable input from dealers, auctioneers, trade bodies and museums into the ivory consultation, we still seem to be heading towards an unworkable fudge on ivory, not least regarding the ‘de minimis’ clauses.

Unless this is seriously addressed, literally millions of antique items will be little more than scrap, sacrificed on a well-meaning but ill-informed iconoclastic bonfire. More likely, ivory objects will become bogged down in an irreconcilable mire of an ‘is it or isn’t it’ debate, as a bouchon of gargantuan proportions drowns the ‘experts’ in an unworkable licensing system.

It is also interesting that the government thinks that, for some reason, it has the right to effectively annul or diminish the legally acquired assets of its law-abiding citizens by passing such legalisation with no form of compensation.

Marc Allum

Consultant, writer and broadcaster