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As We See It

Passports for musical instruments? It could happen

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You wouldn’t want to see Tom the bassoon go to an auction, would you?

Why worry about poaching, deforestation and “the security of the planet” when there are more pressing issues, like getting your antique violin bow through customs? All were discussed at the recent global Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, held in Bangkok, Thailand, March 3-14. The proposal to simplify international customs checks by issuing passports for musical instruments came from the U.S. delegation. Why? Because many older instruments contain wood or bone from plants and animals that are now protected, and taking them from country to country requires a heap of paperwork. Plus, there’s always the fear that your $35,000 Peccatte bow will get confiscated and end up in an auction bag with underwear from someone’s lost luggage.

Maybe passports for certain carry-on items make sense, like Kim Kardashian’s eyelashes (rumored to be mink—the rest of her we’re not so sure about). If diamond mining ever becomes illegal, Ryan Lochte will need papers for his grill (even if it doesn’t, we would still like a written explanation for that thing). And if Mickey Rourke’s face isn’t pieced together from the skin of endangered giant sable antelope, we’ll eat his cowboy hat and gator lapels (he might need several passports).

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Erin got her first newspaper job in 2002 thanks to a campfire story about Bigfoot. In her award-winning work for ...

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