A rare antelope is being killed to make $20,000 scarves

McT

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CASTASEGNA, SWITZERLAND Giovanni Albertini is accustomed to opulence. At this checkpoint on the Switzerland-Italy border, a two-hour drive from Milan, he spends his days evaluating well-coiffed travelers and scouring their Gucci and Louis Vuitton luggage for contraband. He and his Swiss border patrol colleagues have assessed diamonds, pricey wines, and caviar, among other luxuries.

But the drab scarf spread out before him now would not immediately impress. Wrinkled, beige, speckled with tiny, crinkly hairs, its only embellishment was a small fringe at each end. And yet this seemingly unremarkable wrap could be another valuable piece of contraband.

Two hours earlier, Albertini had glimpsed it around the neck of a middle-aged Italian woman traveling with her husband in a silver Audi. The corporal pulled their car over because he suspected the shawl might be shahtoosh—the “king of wools” in Persian—a very expensive, ultrasoft, ultrawarm wool that is almost always illegal to import, trade, or even own.

It takes four Tibetan antelope to provide enough wool for just one scarf.
More @ National Geographic
Link: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/04/tibetan-antelope-killed-to-make-luxury-scarves/
 
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