While killing endangered animals or harvesting endangered trees to sell their products for profit is despicable, antique instruments were made before these trees or animals were endangered and before alternate substances were available. Although the instruments and bows in question have their own passports, the musicians were still detained until Belgian friends were able to contact the cabinet minister who oversees the Convention on International Trade in Endangers Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.
This story had a particular poignancy for me. On our way back from Boston, we were chosen by the US Immigration Service for a “random” check – probably because we had four guitars in our station wagon. For us, it only meant a slight delay in our drive, but we decided to take the southern route around the Great Lakes in the future.