BBC antiques expert claims hes received death threats over support for UK

A BBC antiques expert claims he has received death threats for supporting a near-total ban on ivory sales in the UK.James Lewis, who has featured on Flog it, Bargain Hunt, and Cash in the Attic, helped politicians draw up new laws regarding ivory sales after he gave evidence advocating the move.The 45-year-old auctioneer claims his involvement has resulted in death threats from figures within the antique industry who fear toughened legislation could harm their careers.He said: “I got a couple of phone calls saying, ‘I don’t know why you’re worried about the elephants being shot, the way you’re going you’ll be next’. Then emails written in red. Nasty things.“I know a lot of antiques dealers don’t like it, but it (the ban) is needed.”Current rules state ivory cannot be sold if it less than 70 years old, but ‘worked’ or carved items before 1947 can be traded legally.The bill has its final reading in the House of Lords this month and could represent some of the tightest restrictions on ivory sales in the world. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Lewis said: “When the new ivory ban was being drawn up here at Westminster, I showed politicians this little piece of ivory. It was offered to me at an antiques fair in London, and it was described as Japanese, about 1880. “I had it tested and it wasn’t that period at all. It was taken from an elephant killed much later than that. It could even be as late as 2005. “This proves that modern, poached ivory is for sale at our antiques fairs here in the UK.”Although Mr Lewis feels threatened by the menacing emails and calls, he said he had not reported any communications to police.He said: “There was no point. I didn’t see it as an immediate threat to my life.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *