The ivory pieces included more than $4.5 million worth seized by undercover investigators from Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques in New York City in 2015
This photo taken July 27, 2017, in Albany, New York, shows Ivory artifacts seized by New York state investigators to be crushed in Central Park on Thursday, Aug. 3 to highlight New York's determination to crush the illegal ivory trade. (AP Photo/ Mary Esch), photo: AP/Mary Esch
03 of August 2017 13:05:16
NEW YORK – Trinkets, statues and jewelry crafted from the tusks of at least 100 slaughtered elephants were fed Thursday into a rock crusher in Central Park to demonstrate the state's commitment to smashing the illegal ivory trade.The artifacts placed ceremoniously onto a conveyor belt to be ground into dust included piles of golf-ball-sized Japanese sculptures, called netsuke, intricately carved into monkeys, rabbits and other fanciful designs. Many of the items were beautiful. Some were extremely valuable.But state environmental officials and Wildlife Conservation Society members, who partnered with Tiffany & Co. for the "Ivory Crush" of nearly 2 tons (1.8 metric tons) of ivory, said no price justifies slaughtering elephants for their tusks."By crushing a ton of ivory in the middle of the world's most famous public park, New Yorkers are sending a message to poachers, traffickers and dealers who try to set up shop right here on our streets," said John Calvelli, the Society's executive vice president and director of the 96 Elephants Campaign. "We won't stand for the slaughter of elephants. Nobody needs an ivory brooch that badly."
MARY ESCHJOSEPH B. FREDERICK