Israel: Warner Film a Top Concern at Congress

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(Rapaport…June 26, 2006) The 32nd annual World Diamond Congress kicked off with a welcome reception dinner at the Hilton hotel in Tel Aviv on June 26. Approximately 1,000 representatives in total, from banks, mining companies, and diamond exchanges from around the world, attended the event.

Speaking to Rapaport News, diamantaires (in general) expressed growing concern over fallout from an upcoming Warner Bros film titled “The Blood Diamond,” which stars Hollywood idol Leonardo DiCaprio. The film is in production on the coast of South Africa.

Diamantaires were calling for leaders of the diamond industry to take proactive and concrete steps to defend the diamond industry and increase consumer confidence in diamonds. Diamantaires suggested the industry educate the public on conflict diamonds, the history of the civil wars in diamond producing countries, and tell what steps the industry has taken to fight the trafficking of conflict diamonds via the Kimberley Process.

Shmuel Schnitzer, outgoing president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, told journalists earlier in the day that the congress delegates would be discussing means to educate the public and show there are no longer civil conflicts in the diamond producing areas.

“We have built the Kimberly Process and there is no rough diamond in the world that can be exported without the certificate. We feel this movie is unjust to the industry,” said Schnitzer.

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