A Long Island City art gallery illegally sold a sculpture made with elephant ivory, even though the sale of the material was banned by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014.
According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, Ro Gallery at 47-15 36th St. sold a ballerina sculpture made of elephant ivory to undercover investigators for more than $2,500 last month. Elephants are on the endangered species list and the sale of more than $1,500 worth of products made from elephant ivory is only allowed by obtaining a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) permit. Otherwise, the sale is considered a felony.
On May 30, two DEC undercover investigators visited the gallery and met with employee Jamie Villamarin, who showed them two ballerina sculptures made of ivory. He told investigators, “These are ivory, but we don’t list them as such because you can’t sell ivory.”
After following up to ask about