The private collection of Laura MacGregor is now housed in the Soumaya Museum. After the museum was first inaugurated, the institution was presented with some ivory pieces, including some depictions of Christ. In 2012, MacGregor donated her entire collection to the museum.
The sculptures are amazingly intricate—though they’re also controversial, given the devastating effect the ivory trade has on wildlife. Look at the collection, and you’ll see a Chinese puzzle ball. These “devil’s work balls” nested inside each other, making for a very tricky puzzle to solve. There’s also a piece made in 1960 during Mao’s communist China that shows an industrial scene, complete with Soviet trucks carrying wood to a sawmill.
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