As Olympia fair faces anti-ivory protest, organisers stress abhorrence of modern poaching (London, UK)


Noelle McElhatton, Antiques Trade Gazette

Date Published
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The organisers of the Olympia fair, which starts today (Monday 26 June), have reiterated their support for efforts to stop the illegal trade in poached ivory as the event faces a protest by elephant campaigners on Saturday, 1 July.

Campaign group Action for Elephants is to host a protest outside The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia which runs at the Olympia exhibition centre in Kensington from June 26-July 2.

“All members of the antiques trade, including The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, fully support all measures to stop the poaching of African elephants and to end the illegal trade in poached ivory,” Mary Claire Boyd, fair director, The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, told ATG.

Boyd emphasised the strictness of the event’s vetting procedure to ensure any ivory on sale pre-dates March 1947 and is worked, as required by the CITES convention.

“The law states that only pre-1947 ivory items can be offered for sale under the antiques exemption, providing it has been worked. The panel of vetters at the fair, as always, take a strict line on the vetting of ivory, taking this legislation into account.”

Olympia’s vetters are, Boyd added, “specialists who have decades of experience in assessing the age and authenticity of the objects on sale” and “include some of the world’s leading experts in their chosen fields”.

The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia is the oldest of the UK’s summer art and antiques fairs, marking its 45th year in 2017.