Ivory auction breaks price records

AFP-JIJI

A French auction of legal ivory broke records Saturday, with prices reaching up to €1,000 per kilogram ($630 per pound), according to Alexander Debussy, associate director of auction house Cannes Encheres.

All of the lots were acquired before 1976 — the only type of ivory that can be legally sold since a global ban on the trade in 1989.

The top lot — two tusks weighing 120 kg (265 pounds) from an elephant that was “shot in 1966 by an Italian fighter in Kenya” — went to a wealthy Qatari for €125,000, the auction house said.

An Armenian collector paid almost €69,000 for another lot, which included two tusks around 230 cm (90 inches) long from an elephant killed in the Central African Republic in the 1960s.

All in all, 600 kg of ivory, made up of 47 tusks separated into 27 lots, went under the hammer for a total of €520,000.