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The Daphne Guinness exhibit currently on view at the Museum at FIT has come under a bit of scrutiny lately, due to one of its sponsors. The human rights group Adalah-NY has asked the exhibit to sever its ties with Leviev Extraordinary Diamonds, because of its owner's ties to the West Bank.
WWD reports that FIT received notice of the request on November 21, and according to a spokesperson, they are "pursuing the matter very actively." Adalah-NY member Pat Connors says that if they do not end their relationship with Lev Leviev, the group will "distribute fliers outside the Museum at FIT and to tell staff and visitors about 'Leviev's role in human rights abuses and unethical business practices.'"
Via an email from Adalah-NY:
Leviev's companies also have a history of involvement in brutal human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola. Leviev works in close partnership with that country's repressive and corrupt government. The Angolan government also fails to respect the Kimberley Process which was put in place to stop the worldwide trade in conflict diamonds. In the diamond industry in Namibia, Leviev's company fired around 200 striking, low-wage factory workers in 2008, and this year his employees in Namibia have been accused of trading in illicit diamonds.
The group also argues that Leviev's Leader Management and Development company is building homes "in violation of international law" in the West Bank village of Jayyous.
· Lev Leviev Under Fire [WWD]
· At FIT, Daphne Guinness Explained How She Met McQueen [Racked NY]
· The Daphne Guinness Exhibit at FIT Is Up and Running [Racked NY]