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As a result, we have received both letters of support and offers of funding, to which we have replied individually.

Since our letter was published, we have been in communication with the BADA, which feels that, on behalf of its members, it is beholden to also seek legal opinion on the government’s proposals.

As our approach to the matter is, at this stage, so similar, we do not feel we should duplicate what they are doing. Accordingly, we will be lending our support to these initial efforts.

It may interest your readers to know our research has shown that, during the last 100 years, the Royal Academy has exhibited some 140 pieces of sculpted ivory, approximately one-third by women artists and two-thirds by men. Under the currently proposed law, it would be illegal to trade the vast majority, if not all of them.

We will continue to engage with Defra in the hope that they will adopt a more sensible approach.

John Lewis

Chairman, Public Monuments and Sculpture Association