FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board

Numismatic and History Discussions => Ancient Coin Forum => Topic started by: imperialcoins on April 08, 2010, 06:48:59 pm



Title: Time to Speak Out
Post by: imperialcoins on April 08, 2010, 06:48:59 pm
Friends (and otherwise);

The U.S. State Department has announced a date of May 6-7 for Cultural Property
Advisory Committee hearings on the request for renewal of the Memorandum of
Understanding with Italy. Hopefully your eyes are not already glazed over by
this first sentence. In practical terms, the U.S. government is about to decide
whether antiquities and other forms of cultural property that Italy claims as
its heritage ought to be restricted from entry into the U.S. unless accompanied
by Italian export permits. There is already such an agreement in place, but
ancient coins have been exempted twice before in these renewal requests that
cover a 5-year window. We have very good reason to believe that Italy and
members of the archaeological community will this time seek to add coins to the
list of restricted items. There is a period open for public comment on the issue
and the best way to comment is by fax. Don't despair, this is VERY easily
done. Simply go to the ACCG web site at http://accg.us and click on the Fax
Wizard link (picture of U.S. Capitol Building) on the left side of the page. It
says "Fax Your Legislator" but will indeed send your message to the State
Department. You will be guided through a brief and easy to follow process that
sends a free fax to the State Department registering your views.

Why oppose these import restrictions? Because Roman coins are at the very core
of the cultural experience that we all treasure. They have circulated all over
the known world in antiquity and since through trade and collector markets. It
is impossible to distinguish a Roman coin found in Britain, for example, from
exactly the same type, mint, etc found in Italy. Requiring an export permit from
Italy on a coin found and legally exported from Britain would not only be
impractical, it would not have any legal foundation. Still, any court challenge
by an individual is unlikely since the legal costs usually far exceed the value
of seized objects. Import restrictions are simply not a viable solution to
protecting archaeological sites. They are an idealist panacea that cause far
more harm to society than any possible good. Excluding the U.S. collector and
trade from the legitimate world market for Roman coins, or unilaterally forcing
draconian documentation requirements on Americans, would be grossly prejudicial
and would certainly be against the interests of American citizens and their
traditional freedoms.

We simply MUST oppose any expansion of the MOU with Italy to include coins. We
must do so with an absolutely resounding voice. EVERY person reading this has an
interest in ancient coins, even if you don't collect Roman coins, and needs to
make their view known. The entire hobby is being challenged. There is simply
nothing more important to do RIGHT NOW than to take five minutes, go to the ACCG
fax wizard and register your concern. Don't wait 'til the 22 April
deadline.

The ACCG will defend the hobby to the best of its ability, but in the final
analysis it is the will of the people that will prevail. Those who speak most
loudly and clearly will succeed. DO IT!

With best wishes,

Wayne G. Sayles
Executive Director, ACCG


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on April 08, 2010, 09:05:21 pm
I wrote a letter and signed up as a friend of the ACCG. I hope that everyone here will do the same, if you have not done so already. The work that Wayne Sayles and the ACCG does in it's commitment to defending the rights of the ancient coin collecting community in this highly volatile international political scene is not only admirable, but worth supporting. Get involved by fighting for your rights as a collector.

Regards,
Danny Jones


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: imperialcoins on April 08, 2010, 09:16:48 pm
Danny:

Thanks.  Wayne and the ACCG need as much support as possible.  In this case we need to OVERWHELM them with individual (legit) letters.

Alfred


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: frgreg on April 09, 2010, 04:25:56 am
Fax sent today - it was very easy to do.

Thanks for providing this service to help all of us!

Edited to add:  I finally joined the ACCG today - we really need to stick together to protect our rights.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on April 09, 2010, 12:37:13 pm
Quote
Fax sent today - it was very easy to do.

yes, very easy indeed.
and thank you Wayne (et al) for leading the way in this struggle. i am sure we all appreciate the important stance taken by the ACCG, so i urge everyone here to heed the call.
remember, "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone"!

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Bud Stewart on April 09, 2010, 01:30:31 pm
Thank you for bring the proposed import restrictions to our attention Mr. Sayles.  Acting upon your advice, I followed the easy instructions on the ACCG web-site and was successful in sending my fax.  I fully intend to join the ACCG when I find employment.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: ancientdave on April 09, 2010, 01:59:22 pm
Yes, I too yesterday sent my fax and finally joined the ACCG. It was a very simple process, as has been mentioned. Everyone here should at least send the fax, and if you can afford it at a minimum of $35, supporting the ACCG is cheap considering how hard they are fighting for us all.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Cleisthenes on April 10, 2010, 06:54:51 am
Ive just sent off my fax. Thank you Wayne and ACCG.

Jim


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Abu Galyon on April 10, 2010, 09:40:40 am
I daresay it won’t make me very popular, but let me express a dissenting view.

There is a real problem with the trade in antiquities – and we all know this. The problem is not so much with coins as with the ‘collateral damage’ caused by treasure hunters digging up and destroying archaeological sites while searching for coins or other small finds to sell on to dealers. Clandestine excavation certainly damages a country’s cultural life and heritage, and for very good reasons it is illegal just about everywhere. But many countries don’t have the police resources or the skill to prevent it happening – and in many countries (including Italy) there are just too many sites to monitor them successfully. So it’s natural for hard-pressed lawmakers and policemen to look also at other ways to make illegal digging a less attractive option. From that perspective, adding coins to the MOU would seem to be an idea at least worth considering, since a portion of the enforcement burden gets shifted to the (mainly rich) countries which have significant collector communities.

Wayne Sayles warns that if import restrictions were put in place, you would need an export permit from Italy for a Roman coin found and legally exported from Great Britain. I do not believe that can possibly be true, because it is not true now for the classes of Roman artefacts which are already covered by the current MOU with Italy.

Sayles also writes, “Import restrictions are simply not a viable solution to protecting archaeological sites. They are an idealist panacea that cause far more harm to society than any possible good.” That may be true, but as a statement it certainly needs supporting evidence. And there are analogies which point in the opposite direction: for example, import restrictions on items such as wild birds’ eggs and ivory tusks have certainly helped protect endangered species. Import restrictions may not be a ‘panacea’, but sometimes they can do some good, or at least prevent some evil. 

I have some friends among the academic archaeological community who think that collecting any antiquities – even coins – is a morally suspect activity.  I don’t know whether coin collectors should have ‘rights’, but I do think we have responsibilities. We ought to care about the past and about its preservation. And so I don’t think it is helpful simply to campaign and lobby against some legislation we might find difficult to swallow, without indicating a positive way forward that would be more acceptable to collectors. So thanks to the ACCG for raising the issue, but I hope the result is a real debate and some constructive proposals, rather than merely a bunch of protest faxes.   

Bill R


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on April 10, 2010, 09:59:11 am
Why not just leave everything buried in the ground? That's certainly one way of preserving it. I am being sarcastic, of course, but the archaeological and academic communities frequently favor doing just that.
Remember, there would be no museums and no science of archaeology today were it not for collectors in the past. Nor would modern museums have many of the items in their collections were it not for private collectors now.
I, for one, consider export restrictions at the point of origin on any but the most culturally significant artifacts to be a bitter enough pill, let alone placing import restrictions on coins at this end.
In any case, once such restrictions are in place they don't go away. Instead, it is almost a given that they will escalate. Where does it stop? Perhaps with an all out ban on private ownership of artifacts, including coins? With their "repatriation" so they can sit with tens of thousands of identical items on warehouse shelves "safe" in the academic institutions of their country of origin? Far fetched? Exaggerated? I think not. If we don't want all the dominoes to fall we must keep that first one from being pushed over.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: imperialcoins on April 10, 2010, 10:06:19 am
Abu:

You wrote:

"Wayne Sayles warns that if import restrictions were put in place, you would need an export permit from Italy for a Roman coin found and legally exported from Great Britain. I do not believe that can possibly be true, because it is not true now for the classes of Roman artefacts which are already covered by the current MOU with Italy."

You are looking at this wrong.  Just look at the MOU with Cyprus.  Coins of "Cypriot TYPE" were added.  It does not say coins FROM Cyprus, etc.  It is very easy to tell where most coins were struck, regardless of where they are found.

Concerning damage done by diggers- do you really think that going after collectors is going to stop people from looking for treasure?  Especially when some of it really is made of gold and silver?  People still spend billions of dollars a year on the lottery with horrible odds.  At least someone with a metal detector WILL find something of value if they keep at it (in comparison to the lottery)  Also, look at history to see the results of banning or restricting trade in things.  How well did it turn out for the US when liquor was banned?  A whole new class of criminal was born.  Look at Bulgaria- when they stepped up enforcement the looters went to using heavy machinery to speed up the process and minimize the risk of being caught.

Alfred


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: imperialcoins on April 10, 2010, 10:08:40 am
Wayne's blog post from yesterday covers some of this quite eloquently:

The bibliography of cultural property literature is rich in titles that talk about saving the past. Every question from who made it to who owns it and who should guard it has had buckets of ink spilled on it. Even organizations have taken their names from this "Saving the Past" sound bite. The U.S. State Department has a Cultural Heritage Center that clearly defines its role as one of saving the past. Yes, this seems to be a very popular and lucrative enterprise for some.

I was a bit surprised when I noted the title of a recent blog post by archaeologist Sebastian Heath. A notice of the upcoming CPAC hearing on the Memorandum of Understanding with Italy was headlined "Saving Archaeology in Italy." Kudos to Mr. Heath for cutting through the chaff and hitting the nail on the head. The requested import restrictions are not about saving the past in Italy, there is probably no better studied ancient civilization in the world than that of the Romans. It is about job protection. Yes, archaeology as a profession is at risk and that point is painfully obvious to those who dig in nationalist countries like Italy where the state lays claim to cultural property.

The concern is not that the earth will run out of objects to cough up and study. Heavens, our civilization is producing objects faster that archaeologists 100 years from now could ever gather and study them, even if the profession doubled in size. Archaeology is not dealing with a finite resource, it is dealing with the rolling window of human existence and that resource just keeps getting bigger every day. Just think, for a moment, about the number of WWII related objects that lie in the earth or under the sea from Britain to India and Japan to Singapore -- and that's just a six-year window. No, it's not about the "finite resource." Nor is the concern about site looting. Yes, archaeological sites are looted in many countries. That is a concern. But even archaeologists know that putting import restrictions on tiny utilitarian objects is not going to stop site looting for a host of obvious reasons. So, if it's not about the resource and not about the looting, what is it about?

Permits.

Nationalist countries have come to realize that they can control the cultural sphere by controlling the archaeologists. No career-oriented field archaeologist would even think about expressing a public view contrary to the interests of the regime that grants their permit and thereby controls their professional destiny. Some archaeologists perceive that supporting the views of nationalist governments will endear them to the host nation bureaucracy that decides whether they work or not. This is not really so unexpected. After all, they do need to work. But, does their support for import restrictions really help save the past? No, it helps save "archaeology". Thank you to Sebastian Heath for highlighting that easily forgotten fact.

I, for one, believe that archaeology needs to be saved. It is an honorable and obviously useful profession that society needs and can afford. I just think that casting a light of vilification on collectors and independent scholars with the notion that it will somehow help save archaeology is woefully misguided thinking. Perverting the well-intentioned and balanced provisions of the Cultural Property Implementation Act as a means to satisfy foreign nationalist governments is, in my view, anti-American and any attempt to do that deserves to be rigorously opposed (which the ACCG is doing both in Court and within the State Department system of public input).

If we're going to save the past, we ought to try to save the present as well because it, all too soon, will become the past.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on April 10, 2010, 06:33:11 pm
I certainly hope the battle is won, but I have very little faith in the people receiving our letters, since legislators obviously don't care what the majority of the people think; they often have their own agendas which would make the whole cause moot.  I suspect it's the same in the state dept.

However, most people here are not doormats and we must at least try.

Going on the premise that a campaign would work, there's  basically there's two methods to try here, both of which can be highly effective if used correctly; befriend the right state dept. people or annoy the heck out of them.   The former would take luck to find the right person, the latter would take a lot of effort and perhaps organization.  One has to choose one or the other and concentrate on said approach.

When I was younger my  folks knew one of the premiere publicity people in my city.  I soaked in the advice he gave, and most of my suggestions are things he would have done.  The more audience a cause has, or if even a small amount of people can make a BIG noise, that can make a difference.  Persuasion generally boils down to who one knows or how much of an annoyance factor a group (even sometimes a small group) can make. He was right on both counts.  He was kind of the New York equivalent of the vintage American wrestling manager Jimmy "the Mouth of the South" Hart.

You know he's right; you've all had that co-worker whom everyone caves in to, just to shut them up, and think of how many now-major causes (of both persuasions) started from just a few people being very vocal.  You'd be surprised how many of them started out from just a couple of people being very annoying.

It can't hurt to try the free publicity route; if it gets even a passing mention on any of the major U.S. radio talk shows (since coin/bullion advertisers are already prominent on there and most are coin-friendly), think of the amount of faxes that would come pouring in.  The squeaky wheel often is the one that gets the oil.  The big audience route is the one I would  take.  It takes a lot of dedication and effort, and also the right kind of personality, to do the Andy Kau7fman thing; I know from experience.  I suspect most of the people here are too nice for the Andy Kaufman way to be effective, but a real flood of letters and calls might be enough of an annoyance to work.

Per the media route,; I know a staffer on one of the semi-major talk shows.  I could pass along the desired message, if so desired, not that I could guarantee any results.  I've corresponded in passing in the past with the parody guy and also the producer of the biggest show.  Again, I make less of a guarantee (I'm not any close acquaintance to them) there, but it couldn't hurt to forward a statement.  I'm a radio guy, so I don't have any TV or newspaper contacts.  Maybe a member out there does.  

Shared hobbies/interests CAN really open doors sometimes.  That's how I got corresponding with some of the above people; because of old time radio, audio geek stuff, etc.  One of my relatives once saved his department's bacon from an angry auditor by striking up a conversation about art.  The audit was quickly forgotten about.  Find the right person, and you can be in like Flint.  Sometimes this boils down to luck in finding the right person, though.

If one's going to do it, though, I'd go the most cost-effective (free)mass media way to get the message out; radio.  This is going on the premise that letters would help.

Even a "care" package with a halfway decent coin as a thank-you to said major radio people can go a long way.  I've done it, not expecting anything major in return, but it does impress and goes a long way to make a friend. I ended up getting a really nice personalized autographed picture.   Most of them are coin-friendly and some may even be collectors.

Seeking publicity doesn't hurt to try.  I can only hope that good will triumph.  This is a cause where people of all persuasions can network.  One member might have newspaper contacts, one might have TV, etc., etc.  

Anyway, if I can help in any way I'll be glad to forward the appropriate stuff.  Again, I can't promise any miracles.

Now is not the time to dicker about archaeological ethics; now is the time to get the message out to the greatest number of people we can, if we're going to try the letter-writing approach.  

We only have a short time to get the message out.  American AM radio is the route I would recommend to attract more people to the campaign.  Like I said earlier, it's all about networking; maybe someone else knows TV people, etc.  We all have to come together and make a stand.  In everyday life, we may or may not agree with each other, but this is the cause that unites us.  United we stand, or divided we fall.







Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: aragon6 on April 10, 2010, 08:27:26 pm
I would much rather have these countries that wish to  keep their antiquities actually enforce their own laws against looting and such than make honest people go through heck to get an export permit.  There is no difference in collecting ancient coins from other countries than it is to collect modern coinage from these same countries IMO.  Anyways most collectors, and suppliers, will find a way around any legislation.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on April 11, 2010, 01:03:59 am
Also correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it correct to say that in general the people living in Italy at the present are not even ethnically related to the original Italians of the classical period?  As I understand it the wars of Justinian, the Lombard invasions, and various other occupations over the centuries pretty much wiped out the original Italians (with a similar situation in Greece around the same time)?   

That alone would make Italy's claim pretty spurious, not that anyone in the state dept. knows or studies history.  I'm sure 99.9% of them are ignorant of the above facts.

I'm not trying to flame modern Italians or Greeks. The citizens of either nation aren't to blame for this mess.  I'm just pointing out an inconvenient fact that makes the claims even more spurious.  I guess the claim would go, "Well, we're not even related to the original Romans, we no longer speak Latin, most of the later stuff was minted outside the country, as well as provincials, and we weren't a nation until the modern era, but we own it all!"   How is one supposed to sell that claim?   I could just see Daffy Duck shouting, "It's mine! Mine!  All mine!"  It's the same logic or lack thereof. 

It would also open up countless cans of worms. For example: if Italy is claiming everything regardless if it was minted in the country or not, does that mean Greece can claim items from Italy during the Byzantine period, or would that be Turkey, since Constantinople was the capital?   I guess we're not supposed to think about that. 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Potator II on April 11, 2010, 03:12:39 am
Fax, and a small donation, sent today  :)

Potator


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 11, 2010, 06:20:46 am
Please SEND A FAX today!

There is a period open for public comment on the issue and the best way to comment is by fax.

This is VERY easy.

Go to the ACCG web site - http://accg.us.

Click on the Fax Wizard link (picture of U.S. Capitol Building) on the left side of the page.

You will be guided through a brief and easy to follow process that sends a free fax to the State Department registering your views.

I sent mine and it couldn't have been easier or faster. 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Congius on April 11, 2010, 07:02:42 am
I sent my fax today. It's not only free but very simple. Just a couple of clicks, or take a minute to add your own point of view to the default message(s) available.

Ben


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on April 11, 2010, 12:24:39 pm
The fax wizard is pretty easy.  I'll try to compose a polite letter ahead of time and copy and paste.

I don't think faxes will make any difference other than make the sender feel better.  I would strongly counsel getting the message out on mass media.  Assuming the contacting-the-state dept.-route will work, that's by far the most effective way.  You're going to reach perhaps the most sympathetic, proactive group.

How about something like the Landmark Legal Foundation or similar group?  They might be sympathetic to our cause. Heck, the ACLU occasionally does something right.  What about them?

I tried to get some background info on Ms. Reid to see if she's coin-friendly or not.  From a google search, it's somewhat hard to tell.  She represents a museum, which can go either way.  Does anyone have any background info on her views?

I noticed on the committee there's 3 people representing the general public.  Assuming they aren't total shills, why isn't one of them in charge?

I know these kind of people; they've decided whatever they're going to decide already.  I just hope that it's the right decision.  Who knows, we might be surprised? Sometimes the state dept. people/intelligence officials/diplomats can actually be decent people.


If they decide incorrectly, it'll be our patriotic duty to disobey, just like some of my ancestors on both sides of the family did (Henry Lee (Revolutionary War here), Robert E. Lee, the James gang on the other side of the family).  The Lees claim Sir Francis Drake as a distant ancestor, but I don't know about that one.  The James gang were more vicious brigands than honorable rebels, but they still rebelled!

You don't have to have famous ancestors to fight for what is right.  This is OUR hobby.  We're not hurting anyone.  These ghouls and jackals won't take it away.  We will fight!

I'm shocked that many of our American members haven't gotten fired up about this issue.  We can't sit on the sidelines.  We can't sit like dummies and be squashed. 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on April 11, 2010, 04:43:51 pm
Oh, I think there are quite a few American members fired up about this.
I am one.
Wayne Sayles is one and is a leader of the effort to put the brakes on this.
There are many.

I agree about getting the word to the media. They have to be spoon-fed information. It should not be assumed they will find it for themselves. I say this as a former journalist.

The ACLU only deals with Constitutional issues. I think this would be outside its parameters.
Unfortunately.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Britannicus on April 11, 2010, 05:29:28 pm
Fax, and a small donation, sent today  :)

Potator


Ditto.
It may or may not help, but at the very least, and whatever happens, we'll know that we did our best.
So, come on, all you hundreds of contributors to the FORVM...


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Abu Galyon on April 11, 2010, 05:51:25 pm
Wayne's blog post from yesterday covers some of this quite eloquently:

Thanks, Alfred, for posting the Sayles blog extract, though I have to say I found it very strange. The idea that there is some vast conspiracy involving the academic archaeological community and ‘nationalist governments’ (whatever they are) is, frankly, bizarre.

I think that the argument that archaeological research is dominated and severely restricted by local authorities who won’t issue permits is basically wrong. Sure, there are always hoops to jump through and specific local regulations – in Greece, for example, a university department has to buy the land on which it wants to dig and then donate it to the Greek Ministry of Antiquities, and in Israel all digging stops if you hit a burial that might be Jewish. And there are a few countries (e.g. Saudi Arabia) where it is hard for any foreigners to get a permit to dig, but the major constraints are human and financial. Human, because there are not that many trained archaeologists – and the average field archaeologist will only work on maybe ten or so sites during the whole of his or her professional career. Financial, because it costs a lot of money to assemble, equip, transport and sustain a team for a season of field work. It’s the potential sponsors (usually private individuals or corporations) in their home countries that the archaeologists have to attract and please, not foreign governments.

There are moments when Sayles just seems to be playing with words. He says, “Archaeology is not dealing with a finite resource, it is dealing with the rolling window of human existence and that resource just keeps getting bigger every day.”  Yeah, right – except that isn’t what most people mean when they think of archaeology. As soon as you add an adjective – ‘Roman archaeology’, or ‘Classical Greek archaeology’ or ‘Bronze Age archaeology’, or whatever – then it’s obvious that you are dealing with an extremely finite resource.

Sayles also writes, “Nor is the concern about site looting.” I’m sorry, but that’s exactly what the concern is and I’m sad that Mr. Sayles doesn’t see that.
 
The picture at the end of this post was taken in the Lycus Valley in Turkey. The mound in the background is a typical tel – an unexcavated archaeological site. There are thousands of mounds like this scattered across the former eastern Roman Empire, the remains of ancient provincial towns and villages. But (atypically) we can give a name to this site: underneath is Colossae, somewhat famous because in the first century St Paul wrote a letter addressed to the Christian congregation there. In spite of the New Testament connection, Colossae hasn’t been excavated yet because it is smaller and less obviously attractive than other nearby sites (Laodicea and Hieropolis), and doesn’t have clear surface traces of monumental architecture. But it’s not because the Turkish authorities have refused permission: it’s a funding thing, and a personnel thing, not a bureaucracy problem or a government thing.

Someday some university will develop a research programme to dig at Colossae and explore and carefully document what’s there. Meanwhile it sits out in the middle of nowhere, rarely visited, and really impossible to monitor or protect. So equally possibly, someday some bugger with a metal detector is going to come out and dig a bloody great hole in that mound, all maybe for the sake of stealing a few handfuls of coins and some oil lamps and pots, and not caring a whit about the potentially priceless information they destroy while doing so. That makes me angry. Doesn’t it make you angry too? 

Now, the argument for import restrictions is precisely that they might help prevent looting by making illegally dug coins and similar portable antiquities much harder to sell. It’s meant to discourage the bad guys. It’s not some vindictive attack on coin collectors nor is it a devious government plot to take away our liberties.

But would restrictions really have that effect? I don’t know, but I’d like to think about the idea and discuss it rather than just knee-jerk dismiss it out of hand. And if import restrictions are a really terrible idea – I’m open to persuasion – then I’d like someone to suggest alternatives that might be more effective. Because looting really does bother me. And speaking personally, I would be very content to pay more for the coins I collect if I knew they were available through legal excavation and not the product of looting.

Bill R





   



 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on April 11, 2010, 11:46:28 pm
The concerns are legitimate and not really "knee jerk" reactions at all.
I don't think anyone believes there is a vast conspiricy nor do I think anyone is condoning looting.
However, as there are already export restrictions at the point of origin, why are import restrictions needed at the other end as well?
And this is not just about Italy. Look at what has already occurred with Cyprus if you think there is no reason for concern.
Or look at the CNG Eid Mar denarius case from a few years ago in which Greece (!) claimed the coin (a ROMAN coin that was transported from Germany to Britain) to be ITS cultural property.
I think that the concerns raised by Mr. Sayles, et. al, are quite valid.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on April 12, 2010, 12:04:30 am
Now, the argument for import restrictions is precisely that they might help prevent looting by making illegally dug coins and similar portable antiquities much harder to sell. It’s meant to discourage the bad guys. It’s not some vindictive attack on coin collectors nor is it a devious government plot to take away our liberties.

there are already mechanisms in place to deal with illegally obtained material. this new restriction would add little to that arsenal, but is rather a tax, a money raising scheme. now perhaps the money raised would be used to improve measures to prevent looting within Italian borders, but i doubt it. and why should it apply to material that was never on Italian soil?
i also don't understand why only U.S collectors should foot this bill.

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 12, 2010, 07:03:14 am
Thanks, Alfred, for posting the Sayles blog extract, though I have to say I found it very strange. The idea that there is some vast conspiracy involving the academic archaeological community and nationalist governments’ (whatever they are) is, frankly, bizarre....

The idea of banning the import of Roman coins into America while continuing to permit trade within the EU is bizarre and anti-American.  The restrictions don't apply to the UK.  You don't live in America, so the restrictions don't apply to you.  We are not discussing banning imports to the UK.  You are under the mistaken impression that this is an appropriate place for discussion and debate of this issue.  You are under the mistaken impression that it is OK for you, who does not live in the U.S., to express your support here for this bizarre MOU, which does not impact you.  It is not. 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Paleologo on April 12, 2010, 07:52:29 am
Nationalist countries have come to realize that they can control the cultural sphere by controlling the archaeologists.

Excuse me? Is this a quote straight from "1984"? I wonder what does it exactly mean that Italy is a "nationalist country"? A nationalist government? A nationalist people? I think Mr Berlusconi recently clearly expressed his pride about Italy being "the most American of all European countries" (whatever this means). And, by the way, he is certainly much more interested in controlling public opinion by controlling media. He couldn't care less about the cultural sphere and the archeologists. Seriously. And, if we come to people being nationalistic, I have read several comments here that could hardly be defined as cosmopolitic, so who's being nationalist? I guess "nationalist" in the above quote should be understood as something like "rapacious and narrow-minded". As such, I agree it is quite bizarre and also vaguely insulting.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Paleologo on April 12, 2010, 08:00:43 am
Also correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it correct to say that in general the people living in Italy at the present are not even ethnically related to the original Italians of the classical period?  As I understand it the wars of Justinian, the Lombard invasions, and various other occupations over the centuries pretty much wiped out the original Italians

No, this is not correct. All the occupations you mention were carried out by groups of thousands, maybe tens of thousands people, who would take over political rule through military domination without really merging into the local population. Because if they did, they would be wiped out, ethnically and culturally speaking. To give you an example, both the DNA and the phenotype of present day inhabitants of rural Tuscany can be traced back straight to ancient Etruscans (Cavalli Sforza et al.). Making a claim to unique national ownership of cultural objects is ridiculous from various points of view, but this is not among them.

I can understand American coin collectors are angry at what they perceive as a limitation to their rights. I DON'T understand why this debate should be turned into a political issue of Europe vs. America or the like. Up to now it's been a pleasure and a honor for me to interact with a lot of kind and competent people from all over the world at this site, I would be sad and disappointed if I had to change my mind.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Abu Galyon on April 12, 2010, 08:14:04 am
Joe,

I thought your last post was a little unfair.

(1)  Although I work and reside in the UK, I am a citizen of the USA and I have an absolute right to comment on the (proposed) actions of my government.

(2) I agree completely that it would be improper to impose restrictions on imports to the USA unless similar restrictions were in force within the EU. If the US State Department goes for import controls, I promise to advocate strongly and publicly that the same rules should apply to the UK and the rest of the EU.

(3) I don’t actually think I expressed support for the MOU. I certainly have not (yet) sent any fax to the State Department, either for or against. What I wanted was to hear the case against made more convincingly, because the arguments do not seem so clear-cut to me as to you.

Having got all that off my chest, I apologise sincerely if I have offended you. I will, of course, not post again on this topic.

Bill R   


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 12, 2010, 08:28:00 am
The real problem with enforcement of this MOU would be a presumption of guilt and loss of property rights.  If the ban was limited to coins that Italy could prove were stolen from their soil since 1972, that would actually be OK with me.  But that is not the case, the assumption is that coins have been stolen unless importer can prove they were not stolen.  

Imagine someone coming into your house and saying you need to provide receipts for your property or the government will assume it is stolen, take it away and give it to the country of manufacture.  OK, so this may never apply to your toaster, but the rights of ownership are the same for your toaster and your coins.  According to some stories (rumors?), some coin collectors (in Italy) and some dealers (in the U.S.!) have already had coins confiscated because they could not prove they were not stolen.   Is it impossible to imagine the small step from enforcement at the borders to enforcement within the borders.  

This is a very serious loss of rights.  



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 12, 2010, 09:14:25 am
Joe,  I thought your last post was a little unfair...

I agree, as a U.S. citizen you do have much more of a say.  You indicate you have not made up your mind and you have questions.  But your posts are not looking for answers, they support the MOU.  I am sure there are plenty of places to debate and learn about this issue, most of which are going to be run by supporters of the MOU.  This is not the place for debate.  This is the place for opposition. 

Here are some main points against the ban...

Banning imports to the U.S. will not stop or even reduce looting.  Even banning all trade will not stop all looting.  People also hunt treasure just for fun. 

A ban should be in place in the EU BEFORE they ask the U.S. to place a ban. 

It will be impossible to have any sort of effective ban without a presumption of guilt.  There are millions of ancient coins from Italy above ground now.  The percentage that are have documentation that proves they were not taken from the ground in Italy since 1972 is near zero.   It is impossible to distinguish between looted coins and coins that have been in collections for decades or centuries.  It is impossible to distinguish between coins that were found in Italy and coins that were found in other countries. 

Note I used the words "effective ban" above but, to be clear, I mean effective against imports, not against looting.  Even an "effective ban" would have almost no impact at all against looting. 

A presumption of guilt and a loss of property rights is not an appropriate way to achieve any goal.  We need to fight to maintain our rights. 

Even if we agree with the goal of preventing looting, and I think most collectors do, the MOU (1) will not work, (2) is a serious violation of property rights and (3) is a disturbing violation of the presumption of innocence.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on April 12, 2010, 10:08:57 am
Well, that's pretty cool about the Etruscans.  Thank you for setting that part straight, Paleologo.  Like I said, this whole mess isn't your fault.  My presumption was probably more correct in southern Italy/Sicily, but I'm glad to learn something new.  The Italian government's claim to own everything is still full of beans nonetheless, though.

At the end of the day, the blame would rest more on the American government for selling us out (I love the quote by Chamberlain's critics - it at first you don't concede... that would apply to this situation if they agree to the premise.  Italy isn't holding a gun to their head to agree to it.  No one can blame the good people of Italy for something the government does any more than they can blame me for something boneheaded my government does.

I pretty much agree with Joe, mega-dittos.

None of these restrictions would help looting much.  It's always going to happen.  Drive something underground and it just becomes more attractive; American Prohibition, etc. etc.  Draconian laws haven't prevented a burgeoning Italian antiquities black market either.

The big-ticket antiquities are so darn expensive (if a face is $10,000+, imagine what the whole statue is), it will always be attractive for someone to loot them.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on April 12, 2010, 10:24:02 am
I really hate essays but I still sent a short fax, after all it is all about getting together a large number of collectors.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Johnny on April 12, 2010, 01:36:51 pm
As a Canadian,  this will seriously affect my collecting too since 90% of my coins are purchased in the US.

Any Ideal what Canadian collectors can do to help with this ?  would a fax to the recipient above stating the impact and loss of sales from american buisness to canadian consumers help be accepted coming from another country ?

or is there any other recourse anyone could recommend?


please advise


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on April 12, 2010, 01:56:58 pm
I received several newsletters about this and repeatedly read that non-US citicens were welcome to send a fax as well.

Andreas


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Johnny on April 12, 2010, 02:06:10 pm
Thanks Areich

will send one out shortly. 

I must protect my supply line  :)


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Rich Beale on April 12, 2010, 02:17:47 pm
Fax sent.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: mwilson603 on April 12, 2010, 02:49:22 pm
You are under the mistaken impression that it is OK for you, who does not live in the U.S., to express your support here for this bizarre MOU, which does not impact you.  It is not. 

Following Joe's comment, and taking them to their logical conclusion, s I assume that I, who live in the UK have no reason to support, or rally, against the proposed MOU, which does not impact me directly.

Well sorry to annoy you Joe, but despite your comment I will still be registering my opposition for the MOU regardless of any direct impact on me, or my lack of being a U.S. citizen. ( :P )


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Johnny on April 12, 2010, 07:52:05 pm
Fax sent too  :)


I don't want the US restricted in these ways,  all My favorite dealers are Americans

Here's to hoping these faxes work


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 12, 2010, 08:07:16 pm
You are under the mistaken impression that it is OK for you, who does not live in the U.S., to express your support here for this bizarre MOU, which does not impact you.  It is not. 
Following Joe's comment, and taking them to their logical conclusion, s I assume that I, who live in the UK have no reason to support, or rally, against the proposed MOU, which does not impact me directly.

Really, you think that is taking what I said to its logical conclusion?  Or is that a joke?


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: mwilson603 on April 13, 2010, 02:21:09 am
Joe, I thought that the smiley may have given that away, but I can see why humour in this subject may be hard to find.  After all, if this ridiculous MOU gets through then it could/would really make your business more costly to run and hurt profits.  I have done my bit to stand up against that.
regards
Mark


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: alexius on April 13, 2010, 04:37:34 am
While I am Australian I have sent a fax arguing that decisions by the US government have global implications -other jurisdictions may well follow if the US thinks such moves a good idea. The fax also runs through the usual arguments mentioned by others here about unintended consequences arising from State regulations that impede the flow of markets especially the encouragement of forgery (like we need that!) , black markets and support for crime.

This is in part a long running argument about what constitutes a nation's cultural property- is it only significant works of art or does it extend all the way down to minor coins and pot fragments? Nationalists with strong  ideas of cultural property and archaelogists wishing to preserve sites have a commonalty of interest here. I can't see any such regulations being  imposed in the EU though - not while the Poms still have the Elgin marbles!

Anyway best wishes in your fight. I assume the next step will be your Congressional representatives.







Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: David Atherton on April 13, 2010, 04:47:43 pm
Sent mine today. If you haven't already sent yours, please do so - every little bit helps.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Matthew W2 on April 13, 2010, 09:28:34 pm
I sent a fax in yesterday - hope it will help even a little bit.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 14, 2010, 06:51:45 am
This MOU is being under consideration by civil servants.  It really isn't a partisan issue.  This has nothing to do with political parties.  People in the state department, who come from both parties, in general probably want to support the requests of foreign governments in the interests of better relations.  Unless we can convey that this is a real and serious issue, they likely will support Italy's request. 

Modern politics is prohibited on this discussion board.  As others have noted, some of the comments above (which I will probably delete right now) have crossed the line.  Anything that implies support for or against any current political party, the current administration and anyone running for office is specifically prohibited. 




Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on April 14, 2010, 12:18:55 pm
I'm not going to apologise for commenting on this when I'm not from the US. This is essentially a European problem - ie our problem - which for some reason I don't understand is being handled as a matter of domestic law on the far side of the Atlantic. Nobody's going to solve it that way. If this measure doesn't go through, Italy and other likeminded countries will continue to lobby for something similar until they get it.

I think the relevant governments need to be persuaded to take a more balanced view of cultural patrimony. It's a perfectly valid concept when applied to items of significant importance. If it's the Elgin Marbles or the Benin bronzes, then they should go back where they come from without further ado. Quality replicas would be just as good for display purposes. But it applying the principle to every last GLORIA EX reduces it to absurdity.

Then underlying that is the idea that antiquities belong automatically to the state. I wouldn't support that any more than I'd support any idea that they belong absolutely to the finder or the landowner. Again a balance is needed. A single GLORIA EX should go to the finder or landowner without argument; I think the idea of splitting the proceeds between them is fair to both. Something like the Staffordshire Hoard needs to go to a museum, but if you want it to be handed in you have to compensate the finder appropriately.

If we could find a way to work on an international basis, to persuade more countries to adopt something like our Portable antiquities Scheme, then I think we might be on our way to finding a real solution to this one.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 14, 2010, 12:50:59 pm
I'm not going to apologise for commenting on this when I'm not from the US...

I sure didn't ask for one.  My bias against non-Americans expressing their opinions on this issue is only with those who support the MOU.  Actually, it is against anyone expressing opinions that support the MOU.  I never claimed to be "fair and balanced" because I'm not.  And I'm not going apologise either! 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on April 14, 2010, 03:13:21 pm
I'm not for giving back more important antiquities either, unless they came to where they are by illegal means.
If there was a contract at the time whereby the finds of an archeological dig were divided between the country where
the artefacts were buried and the one digging them up, why should those contracts suddenly be void?


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Marcantica on April 15, 2010, 01:08:33 am
I sent my FAX too.
Do not hesitate and no matter where you live, send yours too!
Don’t wait, do it now, it is very easy and only takes a few minutes of your precious time.
Kind regards,
Marc
Marcantica



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Jennifer A2 on April 15, 2010, 01:55:05 pm

As you can see, I just joined today and I am new to collecting Ancient coins. I have seen this same announcement in other sites and did submit my two "cents" in by fax. I don't know how much it would help but I guess every word counts.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on April 15, 2010, 02:11:22 pm
thank you Jennifer, every word does indeed count.
and welcome to Forvm!   :)

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 15, 2010, 03:18:22 pm
I sent out a message to the Forum email list.   Sending takes all night (19,500 on the list).  When I looked at my computer this morning it had done a window's update and rebooted.  It seems I have 13,000 more to send.  Hopefully we will get a few faxes out of from those 19,500.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: mwilson603 on April 15, 2010, 03:53:02 pm
OK, I am writing this in the full knowledge that I may get shot down in flames, but here goes anyway, and please bear with me, because whilst it may seem like a crazy idea, it just might work.

To successfully lobby the State department to ensure a decision goes a particular way usually takes a lot of time and resource, and often requires a big name, or large industry, to pull it off.  Take the oil companies, auto manufacturers etc as examples.

Now, with the best will in the world, even though Joe served his country for many years, I doubt that his, or Forvm's, name is at the forefront of the State departments mind as they head into the talks.  And even with Joe's email campaign, if we manage a few thousand people registering their views against the MOU, will that be enough?

So I got to thinking, who would have enough clout to force notice to be taken if they opposed the MOU?  Who would have an interest in ensuring that this MOU didn't happen? 

And then I had a minor flash of inspiration.  (And those of a sensitive disposition please look away now, because what I am about to suggest is almost blasphemous)

I think someone should talk to eBay, and discuss the fact that this MOU will force them to a) police all ancient coin transactions for buyers in the US to ensure that the relevant licences are in place, or b) close down ancient coin sales to the US.  It isn't a huge earner for them compared to other areas of their business, but I am sure that they would much prefer to write one letter and try and avoid any ramifications of the possible MOU than just decide not to do anything.  They are also the size of organisation that would be noticed objecting, and they are American.  Now, I am sure they may try and use the "We are just a market" argument, but as certain fashion houses are now able to hold eBay responsible for what sells through them, I am also darn sure the Italian government would be able to as well.

OK OK, I know that for many eBay are the enemy.  But in this instance the possible MOU is the bigger enemy, and it may be time for a strategic alliance for this battle.

So, Joe, you trade via eBay, and whilst I don't have details about how they operate with business accounts, I am sure that you must have nominated people that you can call who could advise you on the right people to have that higher level conversation with.

Right, and now I expect to either be applauded for lateral thinking, or shot down in big flames....the choice is yours  :)

regards

Mark


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 15, 2010, 03:59:29 pm
Great idea.  First you do have to get them to answer the phone or read an email.  Actually I think they are better at this than they used to be.  I don't have the contacts or regrettably the time to work on it.  I hope someone does.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Paul D3 on April 15, 2010, 07:49:30 pm
I don't understand the Italian reasoning. The modern Italians are not "Romans" They are a product of subsequent migrations to the Italic peninsula and are a mixture of a little Romen and Greek, with more German, Balkin and Arabic heratige. The French, Souther Germans, etc. are just as "Roman" as they are. Besides, coins struck in Anatolia, North Africa, etc., have never been "Italian". Furthermore, 1100 yaers after the fall of Rome, peoples from the above mentioned countries migrated to North Amaerica. Thus, Americans are just as "Romen" also-------


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Mark Z on April 15, 2010, 09:42:55 pm
I sent out a message to the Forum email list.   Sending takes all night (19,500 on the list).  When I looked at my computer this morning it had done a window's update and rebooted.  It seems I have 13,000 more to send.  Hopefully we will get a few faxes out of from those 19,500.

Hello All!

Thanks to Joe's easy-to-follow email with links, I just sent mine in!

Thank you, Joe!

mz


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Aurelius on April 16, 2010, 01:05:39 am
I will try and send a fax tomorrow, but what do we do if this does pass? I don't want to lose my hobby, or switch to collecting some other type of coins.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on April 16, 2010, 01:09:11 am
According to the ACCG website, a little over 1100 faxes have been sent to the US State Department through the fax wizard. This number is about 300,000ths of 1% of the US population. Hardly enough people to worry about in the governments eyes. There are only 6 days left to send in your fax. We need EVERYONE to help!

Don't wait! It is your rights that stand to be taken away. Stand up and be counted!

Danny


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on April 16, 2010, 01:13:38 am
i have forwarded Joe's email to all my friends, along with a brief message about the ACCG's link. even though not one of them collects coins they can all see the unfairness of this proposal and its potentially far reaching implications.
perhaps if everyone does the same?

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: C.Gallvs on April 16, 2010, 06:54:30 am
Dear Collector Friends,

Does it make sense to fill in the Fax-form if I live in Europe (I am an European citizen, from the former "Pannonia")?

Best regards,
C.Gallvs


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Joe S2 on April 16, 2010, 07:02:29 am
Just sent my fax and made a donation.  I was totally floored when I received the auto email from Joe.  As a new collector and someone who is just learning this would totally ruin my chances to enjoy this hobby.  I love being able to hold a piece of history in my hand and perhaps give them to m children.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on April 16, 2010, 07:04:35 am
Dear Collector Friends,

Does it make sense to fill in the Fax-form if I live in Europe (I am an European citizen, from the former "Pannonia")?

Best regards,
C.Gallvs

I must have receive 10 Emails about this and most of them (if not all) urged everyone to send a fax, not just US collectors.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: C.Gallvs on April 16, 2010, 07:24:54 am
OK :)

My text to "Compose Your Letter":
"Today people living in the territory of Italy is not the same as the ancient inhabitants of Italia. The current area of Europe is in the place of former Roman Empire. Many citizens migrated from this Europe and is now populated in the USA. They also have got the right to the ancient Roman culture."

Sorry for my bad english!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Paul D3 on April 16, 2010, 07:48:53 am
I sent mine, and forwarded it to a friend who is not on FORVM (yet). I can do this with other such friends.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Minos on April 16, 2010, 08:26:33 am
I find this MOU, what I've read of it, practically unviable. In so many ways, this has no chance to succeed as it cannot, really, be enforced. I also have a hard time imagining how the US authorities could give strenght to something that, as others pointed out, is so grossly anti-american.

That sound like a bad dream, with it's fantasies and allegories. It has no ground in reality.

Hope I'm right...



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Bud Stewart on April 16, 2010, 09:22:11 am
I also just forwarded Joe's e-mail to more than a dozen of my closest friends.  I don't usually forward e-mails, so hopefully they will recognize the importance of this issue to me and 'join the cause'.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Michael S3 on April 16, 2010, 11:49:52 am
I am sending the fax out now. I concur with some of the thoughts that many of these people may very well have their minds made up already, but I don't see any other option other than faxing them to let them know mine.

Specifically what would it mean if this MOU was indeed imposed on us ? As I understand it, this is a recommendation by our government involving the import of Roman coins that will be self imposed, and not part of some larger campaign about increased restrictions on coin collecting ?

How would this affect the coins that are dug up in places like France, Spain, England etc ? which were also part of the Roman Empire. "Of Italian Origin" is the sticking point and how far that really goes, and what specifically that means. I'm interested in hearing someone make an argument that the cultural heritage of the Romans in these other places also belongs to the Italian state. If Roman coins found in France are indeed of 'Italian Origin' what about all the ancient ruins all over France, should they be piece by piece dismantled and sent back to Italy because they are of 'Italian Origin' ? This may sound obtuse but that is the basis for this line of reasoning.

I fully appreciate the property rights aspect, and I agree that being guilty till proven innocent about ownership is a serious policy decision that has sweeping implications.

When will be made aware of what the ruling is ?

- Mike


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: taurisker on April 16, 2010, 02:12:19 pm
Dear FORVM,

I´m citizen of Austria/EU and I´m member of FORVM for many years ... for us colleagues here in Europe, this is unbelievable, too ... we´ll do our best to support you, hopefully we win this match!!!

US people have the right to participate in these things of "universal culture" ... I did an anouncement on our austrian board in this case and I spread the email of FORVM all over my colleagues and numismatic contacts ... hope this will help a little.

I do support this with my voice over the ACCG Fax Wizard.

Thank you that you have informed us.

Cordiali Saluti
Herfried


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Gumbo on April 16, 2010, 02:30:58 pm
Joe's e-mail campaign certainly got my attention and as a result, my fax was sent last night. 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: aragon6 on April 16, 2010, 02:46:22 pm
As mine was too ;D  Even tho I am Canadian I can see the implications that would affect myself and other non US folk.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Bud Stewart on April 16, 2010, 03:25:10 pm
I posted Mr. Sayles letter on another a site that caters to collectors of US Coinage.  I invited those collectors to help us in our efforts.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Bacchus on April 16, 2010, 03:48:44 pm
I too support the coin collecting community in this -- it won't just affect US citizens, it will affect all of us.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on April 16, 2010, 06:51:04 pm
According to the ACCG website: "Faxes from 1329 discrete addresses opposing import restrictions on ancient coins from Italy have been logged through the ACCG Fax Wizard as of 5:30 PM CST, Friday April 16."

Time is running out to send in your fax. The deadline is April 22. We need as many people as possible to send in faxes.
Make your voice heard and protect your rights.

-Danny


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: IzzyTheFool on April 16, 2010, 09:00:23 pm
Email received and fax sent. This is just as disturbing to a new collector such as myself, as it must be to the more experienced and worldly.

~ Charles


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Bonus Eventus on April 17, 2010, 06:57:03 am
I have just sent my fax. Archeological illegal digging is a real problem here in Italy, but the MOU in my opinion is of no help. As ancient coin collectors we can do much, simply by ignoring offerings coming from dubious sources.
Greetings.
Fabio


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on April 17, 2010, 01:45:51 pm
I just sent mine, saying that a better approach would be to try to persuade governments to adopt similar legislation to the UK.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: William A2 on April 17, 2010, 04:05:40 pm
I just sent a fax of my own.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Bud Stewart on April 18, 2010, 09:45:52 am
I just posted Joe's e-mail, including a link to ACCG, on my 'Facebook'.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on April 18, 2010, 10:12:26 am
FAX COUNT UPDATE:

"Faxes from 1446 discrete addresses opposing import restrictions on ancient coins from Italy have been logged through the ACCG Fax Wizard as of 11:00 PM CST, Saturday April 17."


Time is running out! You have until Thursday, April 22 to send in you fax and let your voice be heard.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on April 18, 2010, 10:28:04 am
I just posted Joe's e-mail, including a link to ACCG, on my 'Facebook'.

That's a great idea. I did the same. Hopefully it will muster a few more faxes.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Aarmale on April 18, 2010, 10:38:20 am
I do not collect coins from Italy, nor do I live in USA, but I just sent the fax. ;)

I strongly hope this restriction does not happen.

I know I would be enraged if coins were not allowed out of Israel.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Aarmale on April 18, 2010, 07:44:59 pm
FAX COUNT UPDATE:

"Faxes from 1446 discrete addresses opposing import restrictions on ancient coins from Italy have been logged through the ACCG Fax Wizard as of 11:00 PM CST, Saturday April 17."


Time is running out! You have until Thursday, April 22 to send in you fax and let your voice be heard.
FAX COUNT UPDATE:

"Faxes from 1463 discrete addresses opposing import restrictions on ancient coins from Italy have been logged through the ACCG Fax Wizard as of 11:00 PM CST, Sunday April 18."


17 more faxes have been sent via ACCG Fax Wizard from Saturday to Sunday.  We need more!  You must submit before Thursday, April 22.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Rupert on April 19, 2010, 12:28:30 pm
Although I'm German, I sent my fax too now (hope someone is reading it after I made up my mind for so long about what to write).

Because if Italy will succeed in getting all Roman coins back that are sent to the US, next it will want all Roman coins from within the US. And then from EU countries. And then every country will follow their example; Turkey will want Asia Minor coins, Egypt those from Alexandria, the Taliban from Afghanistan will want all Bactrian coins so they can destroy them, and so on.

Principiis obsta!

Rupert


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on April 19, 2010, 02:06:07 pm
so we know exactly what we're up against here is the similar fax campaign being run by the AIA...

http://www.archaeological.org/webinfo.php?page=10573

and remember, that worn out old Constantine AE you bought at a show last year for $12 is destroying Italy's cultural heritage!

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on April 19, 2010, 02:32:41 pm
Wow, I'm having a hard time keeping down my (unusually late) coffee after seeing that page.  I'll refrain from making a Tony Clifton-esque comment about it.

My Servius Sulpicius (COTD)  is destroying the world!

I bought a Denarius at my local coin shop today.  I'm a terrible person!

I'm also listening to the radio on a tube (antique) radio.  I must be Attila the Hun!

I guess I'll really be a horrible person when I continue buying if a ban is put into place.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on April 22, 2010, 03:42:08 pm
There's 1892 faxes according to the site.  Contacting radio and other media would have generated a lot more, but I guess 1892 without a lot of publicity isn't terrible.  I guess now we just have to wait to see what happens.

Mr. Sayles and his organization deserve a lot of gratitude, as well as a big thank you to people from around the world who stood up for freedom.

Even I never thought an innocent hobby like ancient coins would come under attack.  Perhaps they'll come after old time radio shows next.  After all, many were pilfered by radio station personnel in the past or were abandoned by owners.  We need an MOU on that!  An inconvenient fact is that the preservation of American OTR far outstrips any other nation.  Archives have contributed fairly little to the amount of shows.  They largely came through private collectors and clubs.

In fact, I'm working on cleaning up a classic radio show right now.  I also collect coins.  I'm a double-terrible person!

I pointed out in my fax that many of the major reference works or scholarship per ancient numismatics came out of private collections and/or dealers and private collectors.  The government of Italy has hasn't exactly been a hotbed of major ancient numismatic works that I know of.  English language and German works seem to be the top 2 by far in bibliographies, with a decent amount of French works.  Actually, there's a whole heck of a lot of German works.   

There's plenty of room for co-operation between public institutions (such as museums) and private individuals in the realm of collecting and references.  An MOU would only create more antagonism between private individuals and archaeologists/museums as well as private individuals and various regimes, both home and abroad.  I'd rather see co-operation.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on May 07, 2010, 08:02:53 am
From the ACCG website:

ACCG voices opposition on Italy MOU

          "The ACCG has submitted a formal comment regarding the possible addition of coins to the Memorandum of Understanding with Italy.

          On May 6th and 7th, the Cultural Property Advisory Committee will convene in Washington DC to consider extending the current Memorandum of Understanding with Italy that restricts the importation of certain types of cultural property.  The MOU is a form of bilateral agreement between nations that is authorized by the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act of 1983.  The decision to enter an agreement rests with the U.S. State Department and by law is aided through the deliberation of CPAC.  Theoretically, the State Department would follow the advice of CPAC in all but the most unusual of cases.  An MOU must be reconsidered every five years.  Although many types of artifacts from Italy are currently restricted, coins have been exempted in the past two CPAC deliberations.  There is reason to believe that they may be considered for addition this cycle.
             The public is invited to comment on issues before CPAC in two ways, either by written statement or by oral comment.  The ACCG submitted a written statement on April 20, 2010.  Guild Executive Director Wayne G. Sayles will present oral comments in Washington at the public session on May 6th.  Washington attorney Peter Tompa will represent the numismatic trade at this hearing. The Numismatic Community will also be represented with oral presentations by Mr. Clifford Mishler, ANA president; Mr. Douglas Mudd, curator of the Money Museum; and Mrs. Souzana Steverding, Director of Ancient Coins for Education."



There were a total of 1934 faxes sent through the ACCG website opposing the MOU. The deliberations close today. We should hear something shortly as to the outcome.


Regards,
Danny



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on May 07, 2010, 11:35:25 am
Does anyone know when this agreement would be scheduled to take effect? What is the expiration date of the current agreement?

The MOU was originally entered into between the US and Italy on January 19, 2001. Every five years, the MOU is reconsidered. In 2006, it was extended for another five years with some amendments. It is due to be reconsidered again today, May 7. Basically, according to its own wording which I quote below, the MOU, if agreed upon bilaterally, will take effect immediately.    i.e. today.

Here is the paragraph in the MOU about the  "Inapplicability of Notice and Delayed Effective Date"

"Because the amendment to the Customs Regulations contained in this
document imposing import restrictions on the above-listed cultural
property of Italy is being made in response to a bilateral agreement
entered into in furtherance of the foreign affairs interests of the
United States, pursuant to section 553(a)(1) of the Administrative
Procedure Act, (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)), no notice of proposed rulemaking
or public procedure is necessary. For the same reason, a delayed
effective date is not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)."



Regards,
Danny


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on May 07, 2010, 11:43:28 am
For those of you who are interested, here is a summary of the MOU with Italy from the US State Department. Paragraph three lists the categories of objects subject to import restrictions. There are those who are trying to include ancient Roman coins as a part of the restrictions. This is what we are fighting against.

I.  Cultural Property Agreement with the U.S.

On January 19, 2001, the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Italy entered into a bilateral agreement*, or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), imposing import restrictions on pre-Classical, Classical, and Imperial Roman archaeological material from Italy.

On January 19, 2006, the governments of the United States and Italy exchanged diplomatic notes extending and amending the MOU.


II.  Summary of the Basis for the Agreement

The agreement is in response to a request from the Government of Italy made under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.*
The import restrictions are intended to reduce the incentive for pillage and illicit trafficking of cultural objects.
 
Reports from the Carabinieri Nucleo Tutela del Patrimonio Artistico and in the Italian national and regional press indicate that looting is a current and severe problem, particularly in southern Italy, Sicily, and Etruria. The quantity and nature of Italian archaeological material on the market further show that the archaeological heritage of Italy is being pillaged to meet the demand in the international trade.  The agreement offers both countries an opportunity to engage in a partnership to help protect the cultural heritage of Italy, and to enrich American cultural life through research and educational programs, and loans between Italian and American institutions.


III.  Categories of Objects Subject to Import Restriction

The Designated List, published in the Federal Register by the Department of the Treasury on January 23, 2001, describes types of restricted objects from Italy as ranging in date from approximately the 9th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D.  Categories include stone, metal, and ceramic sculpture; decorated vessels in metal and ceramic; metal jewelry; weapons and armor, and inscribed metal sheets; glass and stone mosaics; and wall painting.

IV.  Import Restrictions

Objects from categories described in the Designated List may enter the U.S. only if they have an export permit issued by Italy, or documentation indicating that they left Italy prior to the effective date of the restriction: January 23, 2001.



Regards,
Danny


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on May 07, 2010, 11:59:26 am
I know many of you are following this keenly (as I am also) and await a response as to whether coins will be added to this extension of the MOU or if the designated list will be kept the same. Here are links to the former MOUs with Italy in PDF format:


2001 MOU in English

http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/culprop/itfact/pdfs/it2001mou.pdf

2001 MOU in Italian:
http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/culprop/itfact/pdfs/it2001mouit.pdf

2001 Designated List of Restricted Items:
http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/culprop/itfact/pdfs/it2001dlfrn.pdf

2006 MOU Extension and Ammendments:
http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/culprop/itfact/pdfs/it2006mouext.pdf

2006 MOU Extension and Ammendments (Italian):
http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/culprop/itfact/pdfs/it2006mouextit.pdf


Regards,
Danny


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on May 29, 2010, 01:02:45 pm
They're taking their sweet time about it.  I just did a google search, and didn't find anything about it.  I found some amusing propaganda wanting to say yes.  Whenever I see things like that, the Andy Kaufman in me comes out (I love his "helpful hints")., and it makes me quite giddy that my coin orders put a frown on the face of the individuals who want to take our coins away.  I plan on adding another frown today. 

I wouldn't obey the decree anyway if they sell us out, but it would be nice to know the decision.



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on May 29, 2010, 01:08:27 pm
I wouldn't obey the decree anyway if they sell us out, but it would be nice to know the decision.

right on brother!
Viva la Revolucion'!

defiantly,
~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on May 29, 2010, 03:15:37 pm
In peaceful, yet defiant, civil disobedience, we should all go buy something from Forum, or whatever dealer one happens to frequent.  I have my eye on a Nero that I will purchase once my question about availability is answered.

or better yet..antiquities; that'll really get the nattering nabobs in a tizzy.  Forum has a large selection of such.  I never really got into antiquities because I don't have anywhere to properly display them and the good stuff is really expensive.  Some of the decorated bowls are surprisingly affordable, though, as well as some of the Egyptian figurines.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: paul1888 on June 24, 2010, 08:14:24 am
Has anyone heard any new infomation on this?  Seems to have gotten really quiet.

Paul


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Dino on June 24, 2010, 12:33:05 pm
It is quiet.  I'm guessin gthat State has other more serious issues they're dealing with at the moment.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on August 27, 2010, 03:34:25 pm
a new front!
i guess it was inevitable really, but i just recieved this email from CNG...

Quote
We've recently learned that the government of Greece has asked the United States to implement new import restrictions on Greek cultural property. We're asking for your help to oppose any new restrictions on the trade of coins.
 
Although we don't know exactly which objects are specified in the confidential request, we have reason to believe coins of Greek origin are included. In the past, coins from Greece have not been subject to restrictions of this type. If this new request is granted, the impact on both collectors and dealers could be substantial. We're asking you to help by making your thoughts known to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC), which will soon evaluate the Greek request. Please see our instructions below to send CPAC your comments.
 
Why should you oppose these import restrictions? Industry attorney Peter Tompa has suggested that collectors consider the following points:
US law requires that restrictions only be applied on artifacts "first discovered in Greece." But hoard evidence demonstrates that Greek coins circulated extensively outside the confines of the modern Greek nation state.
US law requires restrictions only be placed on artifacts of "cultural significance." But coins -- which exist in many multiples-- do not meet that particular criteria.
US law requires that less drastic remedies be tried before import restrictions. But Greece has not tried systems akin the the UK Treasure Act before seeking restrictions.
US law requires that restrictions be consistent with the interests of the international community in cultural exchanges. But restrictions will diminish the ability of American collectors to appreciate Greek culture and could greatly limit people to people contacts with other collectors in Europe.
Restrictions are unfair and discriminatory to Americans. Collectors in the EU--including Greece-- have no similar limitations on their ability to import ancient coins.

To find out more about Greece's request, you may visit the Cultural Heritage Center site maintained by the US Department of State. In addition, Peter Tompa maintains a blog in which he discusses his opinions of the Greek request.
 
Please send your comments to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee through the following US government Web site before September 22:
 
Submit a comment now

Thank you for your help in this matter.
The Staff at CNG, Inc.

i'm already late for work, but i wanted this posted asap.

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on August 27, 2010, 05:37:37 pm
Yes, it is happening again. This time with Greece. I was about to post the very same email but Peter beat me to it. The first I learned of this was today from this CNG emailing.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on August 28, 2010, 12:16:19 am
Oh boy; I just saw this.  I don't really collect that much Greek stuff, but it sure makes me want to buy a Greek coin!  Don't these clowns have anything better to do?  Such as maybe not imploding as a country?

Danggumit, my mp3 player died this week and I ordered a new one. An owl, even though I'm not really into those,  would have been a perfect sign of defiance, but I don't wish to dip further into savings at the moment. A New Style Tet would be appropriate though.  Kind of a double insult, since Athens was under the Roman thumb at the time, and the fact that the New Style ones are awesome!

On second thought, I'd rather have a Seleucid Tet. The mainland's not been very relevant since 338 B.C.

Do they claim Hellenistic things as well?  If they're going to play that game, wouldn't the country of Macedonia have the better claim on the great majority of Greek things outside of Achaea?  Or even various Muslim countries?  Oh well, we're not supposed to think about logic; we're supposed to shut up and do the feel good thing.  We're supposed to do like Mr. Van Driessen from Beavis and Butt-head, strum a guitar and sing 'climb a mountain." Well, sorry, I'm not a van Driessen.  What about all the things plundered from Greece by the Romans?  Oops, I'm thinking again..not supposed to do that.

I've long reached the point where I'm sick of it, and I am blatantly hostile towards people/institutions that want to take our coins away   We're not hurting anything  Leave us alone. Bullies need to be stood up to.

I think now would be a good time to buy some Tets as a show of solidarity.  Forum has many nice ones.  Better yet, buy the owls and mainland issues that will really drive the nabobs nuts.

Ah, if only Pompey Magnus were in our State Dept., "Little man..."  He was quoting to an Athenian too  How very ironic.   Oh well, wishful thinking.

I have a feeling that nothing will happen in the end, but I'll support just about any cause for collectors.

 I think Italy and Greece will be snubbed off for the time-being, but I will be very concerned if Egypt, Syria, Persia, Jordan etc. suddenly want to get into the action. 










Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Roy P on August 28, 2010, 07:53:05 am
It seems like that which was originally created for the possession of the masses is now a top state priority for repatriation. Hello.... We are not talking about pieces of the Forum or the Parthanon. These are not DaVinci paintings or pieces of regal armor. These are coins which were made to be held and owned by PEOPLE not institutions or state warehouses. These are the only pieces of history most of us can own, trade and collect.
Please, Italy and Greece, GET A CLUE!!! :-\ :-\ :-\


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on August 28, 2010, 12:34:24 pm
We may be shooting ourselves in the foot by calling all Hellenistic coins 'Greek'.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: rover1.3 on August 28, 2010, 02:42:21 pm
We may be shooting ourselves in the foot by calling all Hellenistic coins 'Greek'.

What's the proper way to call them in your opinion? "Judaean" maybe?


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on August 28, 2010, 02:54:49 pm
i think Robert is using the term to denote the post-Alexander 'Greek' world. in this way there are many kingdoms which were not nationally Greek, so why should their coinage be included in this trade restriction?
this is much like Italy claiming everything termed 'Roman', even though a large portion of those coins were struck by non Romans and never circulated in Italy.

it is also frustrating for us on this side of the pond to be restricted in this way while others countries continue to trade freely. that doesn't really seem fair, does it?
and i won't even begin the arguement that these items are in better hands with collectors than locked away in some warehouse or treasury somewhere. i'm not sure that anyone who frequents this board would argue that point very whole-heartedly.

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on August 29, 2010, 01:06:53 pm
What's the proper way to call them in your opinion? "Judaean" maybe?

If they were minted in Judea, yes. I've never been comforatble with the tradition of classifying them all - including Judean coins - as 'Greek'. Many of them are nothing of the sort, and the average policeman isn't likely to understand the difference!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on August 29, 2010, 05:44:35 pm
Along this same line of thought, what about the so-called "Greek Imperial" coins which are, in fact, Roman Provincial. Should these be classed as Greek or Roman and do they fall under the proposed Italian or the proposed Greek import bans? What about coinage of Greek colonies in Sicily. Where do they fit in? Are they going to be claimed as cultural property by Greece or by Italy? What of the coinage of Greek colonies in Gaul? Will Greece claim these as its cultural property -- or will France, should it jump on this bandwagon? OWhat of Roman coins struck under the Republic and early Empire in Sicily, southern Gaul, and Spain, which were ethnically and culturally Greek but which were Roman provinces and which are in neither Greece nor Italy? I ask these questions to illustrate the fallacy of such arguments about "cultural property" and restrictions thereon, though I would like to know how they actually plan to handle this and wonder if they've thought it through. I suspect those proposing such restrictions actually know very little about Classical history or geography.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Roy P on August 30, 2010, 08:29:25 am
Not only is the determination of WHOSE cultural property a given piece would be a difficult issue, but who is going to absorb the cost of establishing "coin police"? Is it Itay, or Greece, or the allmighty fool in the group, the good ol' USA?  In a time of global economic depression, what is the cost going to be of mounting a numismatic Gestapo to send storm troopers to the doors of law abiding collectors, who happen to like ancient coins, as opposed to modern? I happen to be of Italian lineage, and feel coins are my patrimony as much as they are of a state that didn't exist when the coins were made.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: rover1.3 on August 30, 2010, 08:33:32 am
I suspect those proposing such restrictions actually know very little about Classical history or geography.

I have realized that as far as History, Geography etc, everybody knows what he likes to know, and what he wants to know, so let's not play the game "I know, you don't" here. Leads to nothing.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: mwilson603 on August 30, 2010, 10:18:09 am
I happen to be of Italian lineage, and feel coins are my patrimony as much as they are of a state that didn't exist when the coins were made.

I'm in a mischievious mood, and thinking out loud more than anything else, so take the following lightly.  Although if anyone with any legal knowledge thinks this could actually tie the bureaucrats up for a while whilst they work out how to disprove, or take appropriate action against the following suggestion............

So at the moment it appears that 2 governments are claiming ownership of artifacts that when logic or common sense is applied, it is obvious that they don't/can't own.  E.g. Roman coins minted in Britain.  So playing the game by their own rules, if someone could claim to be a direct descendant of one of the emperors, and could produce any kind of proof, whether it was strong evidence or not, would they then be able to throw a request to Italy for return of any artifacts produced under that emperor's reign.  At the same time maybe the same person could send a request to the Italian Govt requesting export restrictions on their emperors cultural property?

regards

Mark


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on August 30, 2010, 10:36:19 am
I suspect those proposing such restrictions actually know very little about Classical history or geography.

I have realized that as far as History,Geography etc,everybody knows what he likes to know,and what he wants to know,so let's not play the game "I know,you don't" here. Leads to nothing.


What in the world are you talking about?
It sounds as if you are defending those who support such restrictions!
Clearly, the argument for this ban is based on modern boundaries and modern politics. Had those seeking it even a sliver of understanding of the history and historical geography involved (bureaucrats seldom do, regardless of the country) they might realize how absurd such restrictions are.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Roy P on August 30, 2010, 10:41:06 am
What everything really boils down to, on a large scale, is that in international negotiations, these items are just bargaining chips. Your rights will be traded away, in return, Italy will quit poisoning some endangered insect, and Greece will quit hunting unicorns.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on August 30, 2010, 10:54:42 am
All the proponents are interested in is redistribution; plain and simple.  Not fairness, not any of that.  There's absolutely nothing noble about the whole repatriation crap..  A bit of Napoleon complex/envy also comes in because the glories were so, so long ago. I'd be frustrated too if my last success was in the third or 4th century.

If it were on a voluntary basis, ok.  If a museum were foolish enough to give back anything that's their business.  However, I'm always vehemently against any totalitarian measure.  It would be about as noble (not very - and the exact same principle) as Hermann Goering plundering art collections for his own gain.  One person's 'fairness' is another person's enforced theft.

Insofar as implementing it, it would be a total disaster.  We all know Prohibition worked out really well!  I'm not a drinker, but even I would have rushed out to a speakeasy to be show my disapproval.

If only we had Cicero to be our advocate.  He would have made the proponents look like Cataline - although it probably wouldn't take an advocate of Cicero's skill to do that.

Fortunately, we're all pretty much on the same wavelength that this is a terrible idea and we all oppose it. 

It takes two to tango, however.  A common-sense State Dept. (like that's going to happen) could easily derail this.  Let us not forget it would be up to our people to agree to such a demand.

Such schemes, if implemented, would serve only to foster extreme hostility against the host countries (and the quislings that would agree to such a measure).

The irony seems to be lost on the Greeks that now they themselves act like the Persians, demanding earth and water from us.

One good is that collectors of all persuasions (left, right and center) are becoming unified in their opposition to this.   Everyone is unified in common sense. 



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: rover1.3 on August 30, 2010, 11:29:53 am
I suspect those proposing such restrictions actually know very little about Classical history or geography.

I have realized that as far as History,Geography etc,everybody knows what he likes to know,and what he wants to know,so let's not play the game "I know,you don't" here. Leads to nothing.


What in the world are you talking about?
It sounds as if you are defending those who support such restrictions!
Clearly, the argument for this ban is based on modern boundaries and modern politics. Had those seeking it even a sliver of understanding of the history and historical geography involved (bureaucrats seldom do, regardless of the country) they might realize how absurd such restrictions are.


I guess you didn't understand what i wrote,so here it is again.

I have realized that as far as History,Geography etc,everybody knows what he likes to know,and what he wants to know,so let's not play the game "I know,you don't" here. Leads to nothing.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on August 30, 2010, 11:42:37 am
Repeating the same statement word for word doesn't actually clarify it.



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: xintaris75 on August 30, 2010, 12:10:18 pm
Please, stop the unnecessary and unfair generalizations and distortions.
The issue raised by the Greek Government, is a result of appearing on the market freshly digged hoards of small denominations ancient coins from the Greek mainland, which hardly could be found far from their place of minting.
These examples are results of criminal digger's and smuggler's work or it's a part of old collection?  :police:
http://www.sixbid.com/nav.php?p=viewsale&sid=198&cid=2236&s=b


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: dltcoins on August 30, 2010, 12:23:45 pm

Clearly, the argument for this ban is based on modern boundaries and modern politics. Had those seeking it even a sliver of understanding of the history and historical geography involved (bureaucrats seldom do, regardless of the country) they might realize how absurd such restrictions are.


I wonder if Zahi Hawass has considered returning Egypt's Hellenistic treasures to Macedonia?


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on August 30, 2010, 12:26:58 pm
It's a very slippery slope when one forces the burden of proof that the item is "legitimate" (very nebulous term) onto the collector/dealer.  For every one illegally digged (sic) coin there's 500 legitimate collector who is hurt.

The truth may be rude, but I see nothing that's fundamentally untrue.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on August 30, 2010, 04:11:33 pm
Please, stop the unnecessary and unfair generalizations and distortions.
The issue raised by the Greek Government, is a result of appearing on the market freshly digged hoards of small denominations ancient coins from the Greek mainland, which hardly could be found far from their place of minting.
These examples are results of criminal digger's and smuggler's work or it's a part of old collection?  :police:
[LINK REMOVED BY ADMIN]


Fair enough, if so. However (and a big "however" it is), the verbiage I've seen thus far suggests something far more broad and similar to the Italian import ban request (i.e. the MOU).


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Will Hooton on September 03, 2010, 11:07:26 am
In his blog Paul Barford today writes;

"No doubt there will be wild jubilation in the caves of the coin elves tonight as the news seeps underground that ancient coins were not included by the State Department in the extension of the bilateral cultural property agreement between Italy and the USA. Nobody knew whether Italy had asked for this or not, it seems they had not. ".

So case closed? Please also enjoy Barford's sour fume! :)


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 03, 2010, 11:57:22 am
This is good news. Very cool!

I'm not familiar with Paul Bradford.  I usually don't frequent such media, as listening to Lord Haw-Haw would be pretty interchangeable.  I wonder if Bradford signs on "Archaeology Calling, Archaeology calling?" (a joke based on those familiar with William Joyce's sign-on phrase).

John Enos has one of the best mean point and laugh type laughs.  Big Enos laugh here.  This is great!

That bit of news made my Friday better. The triumph of freedom is always welcome news.  At first, I was pretty worked up about the whole mess, but I came to realize countries like Italy and Greece will probably be snubbed.  Now if Syria, Egypt, or such asks, then we might have something to worry about...


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on September 03, 2010, 12:02:34 pm
Since when do Elves live in caves?
What a dummy.  ;D


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Will Hooton on September 03, 2010, 12:10:38 pm

John Enos has one of the best mean point and laugh type laughs.  Big Enos laugh here.  This is great!


What bout Nelson?  ;D


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on September 03, 2010, 12:13:40 pm
In his blog Paul Barford today writes;

"No doubt there will be wild jubilation in the caves of the coin elves tonight as the news seeps underground that ancient coins were not included by the State Department in the extension of the bilateral cultural property agreement between Italy and the USA. Nobody knew whether Italy had asked for this or not, it seems they had not. ".

So case closed? Please also enjoy Barford's sour fume! :)

It seems everyone isn't as daft as Barford.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Gert on September 03, 2010, 12:33:36 pm
Let's celebrate when the source of this news is something else than Mr. Barford's blog.
Regards
Gert


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Dino on September 03, 2010, 12:37:30 pm
See here on the Greek issue:

http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#docketDetail?R=DOS-2010-0339


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: El Reye on September 03, 2010, 08:05:15 pm
Has anyone seen any definitive collaborating statements from any governmental agencies supporting Mr. Barfords statements?

Cameron


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on September 03, 2010, 09:03:57 pm
I'm hesitant to post a link to Barford's page on this board, but here it is in his own words:
http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/2010/09/coins-not-in-italy-cultural-agreement.html

And also a commentary on his announcement:
http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2010_09_01_archive.html

Apparently, Barford was privy to some leaked inside information, but has yet to share his source. Nothing has yet been said officially.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 03, 2010, 10:41:11 pm
Haha, love the Nelson!

Today happened to be my coin buy.  I've been saving, so it wasn't expensive, but it was the Roman Republic!  Take that, Bradford!  Hopefully he'll read this page so I can say,

HA-HA!

I rarely order pizza, but I think this calls for a celebratory pizza!  (Unfortunately no coal-fired oven pizzerias around here - yum) but it's round and pizza in the academic sense.









Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on September 03, 2010, 10:50:41 pm
There is nothing on any source I can find apart from this blog. No credible entity has thus far confirmed, let alone announced, this. I certainly hope that it is accurate.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Will Hooton on September 07, 2010, 03:41:25 am
An article of interest appearing in The Guardian, regarding an interview with Greece's Minister of Culture, Giorgos Voulgarakis.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jul/11/parthenon.arttheft (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jul/11/parthenon.arttheft)



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on September 07, 2010, 10:25:12 am
Many of these objects would not exist today (certainly not in their present states of preservation) had they not been removed in centuries past. Regardless, there is a vast gulf of difference between individually unique artifacts of the sort discussed in the article and coins, which were minted in quantity for economic transactions.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on September 12, 2010, 01:13:15 pm
The issue raised by the Greek Government, is a result of appearing on the market freshly digged (sic) hoards of small denominations ancient coins from the Greek mainland, which hardly could be found far from their place of minting.

Actually, the exact terms of the MOU rquest from Greece have not been made public, so no one knows the details. The public summary that has been released, however, suggests no time frame on when items were dug and states that the items involved include artifacts from the neolithic period through the 18th century, including coins, from within Greece's present borders.

Incidentally, I fear the jubilation about the Italian MOU matter being settled is premature. As far as I can tell, the State Department has made no decision yet.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: El Reye on September 14, 2010, 01:14:12 pm
Thanks Harlan and Curtiss
I just posted my comments in opposition to the restrictions on Greek coins with the State Department using the link provided in your e-mail. You made it real easy.
Maybe you could provide the link to Joe so he could paste it here.

Cameron


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on September 14, 2010, 01:18:48 pm
Here's the link from HJB's email:

http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#submitComment?R=0900006480b4e289


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on September 14, 2010, 02:22:11 pm
I just submitted my comments. Be advised that we only have until the 22nd of September to submit comments to the State Department.  The more comments that are sent, the bigger our voice as a community will be, showing that the ancient coin collecting community might be relatively small, but is a proactive force that will stand against any encroachment upon individual property rights of numismatic objects, and that restrictions on the trade of ancient coins are both unfair and discriminatory. 

Danny


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Mark Fox on September 17, 2010, 11:17:32 am
Dear Board,

Celtic coin researcher John Hooker has been keeping the Moneta-L mailing list informed on the current status and character of the commentary regarding the Greek MOU.  As has already been stated, the deadline for submissions is September 22, and it appears, as of today, that the opposition will lose unless something changes quick...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Moneta-L/message/97177

I thought it would be good to point this fact out and give everyone here a chance to make an informed decision before those in authority decide.   

 
Sincerely,

Mark Fox
Michigan


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on September 17, 2010, 12:08:02 pm
To quote a disturbing excerpt from the Moneta-L post that mark linked to above,

Of the last 100 submissions to the State Department, 91% are clearly in favor of stopping all commercial imports of any ancient Greek material into the U.S. 4% are against the MOU , 4 are in a docx format and 1 is blank. The total submissions received are now at 411 and including today, there are only six days left.

There was great participation of collectors regarding the Italian MOU in submitting their comments to the State Dept. We need this same fervor in participation for the Greek MOU.

If you haven't submitted a comment, please do so soon here:
http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#submitComment?R=0900006480b4e289


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 17, 2010, 12:34:45 pm
Yes, but how many of the "pro" are real and not just some Dorito-stained cretin filling out some sell us out form letter?  That's assuming those numbers even have credence. Also, couldn't such votes easily be coming from overseas?

We'll have to see what happens.  What's more frustrating than the arrogant demands of a third-rate country is that some Pierre Laval wannabe would agree so such demands, when they are so easily denied.

I'm not a big Greek collector, but the prospect of defying an unjust ban would make it mighty attractive to me.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on September 17, 2010, 01:45:26 pm
Are there adresses (or at least countries) given?
They could be people from Greece.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: El Reye on September 17, 2010, 06:10:28 pm
Quite disappointing,  FORVM has over 10000 members and yet there are only 411 comments on this issue submitted to the State Department and a lot of those are in favor of the ban and are being generated by the AIA and a few Universities.

Cameron 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Mark Fox on September 17, 2010, 06:40:53 pm
Dear Board,

I believe the submissions are genuine.  Most, if not all, of the latest ones appear to be written by university students in the US.  They were most likely recruited by the professors.  What I wonder about is if everyone's comments have been successfully posted.  It wouldn't hurt for those who have already submitted theirs to check.       

If anyone wishes to submit their comments, please head my advice and make certain to sign them with your full name (and address if you are willing), and carefully proofread your remarks.  It was very distressing to read several that failed miserably on these points.   


Best regards,

Mark Fox
Michigan       


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on September 17, 2010, 10:58:14 pm
I am wondering as well whether all the submissions in opposition have registered. I have received many emails from dealers about this matter. Surely these emailings have not been ignored by the collecting community. I know they were not ignored by me!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 17, 2010, 11:07:33 pm
Yep, my point exactly - Mark; vote fraud.  Ok, maybe I'll change Doritos to beer-stained.   Kids dumb enough to fall for this crap are being indoctrinated by their professors (isn't the whole point of college to think for oneself?), and are hardly valid votes.  Most of these 'students' could not even point out Greece on a map, let alone know much of anything about history or the objects they're referring to.

Unfortunately, I'm not super-exited about most of the Greek mainland coins, but it would be too good of a statement to pass up.

Can't we just collect in peace?  How can the benign purchase of a coin hurt anything?  I can think of few things more benign than coin-collecting.  It would take someone pretty high on the Snidely Whiplash rotten-o-meter to want to take such a wonderful thing away.  Probably the type who kicks puppies.

I'll have to sit and await developments along with everyone else.  All we can do is resist to the max any attempts to confiscate our coins and any attempt to infringe on our ability to peacefully collect.  

I have no idea why the U.S. was dumb enough to agree to any MOU of any sort, but that was done before I was born (it was signed 1976 IIRC on one of these threads) so I guess there isn't much I can do about it.  Put one thing on the list; statues, what-not, and that opens the door to anything else.

The whole situation is positively revolting.




Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on September 18, 2010, 04:51:16 am
I have no doubt they're genuine. It's easy to sell this as A Good Thing and get people to support it.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 18, 2010, 10:12:48 am
Perhaps so.  There's always useful idiots, as Stalin said.  However, such polls have been long-time tricks to get the other side not to vote and give up.  We must at least give it our all.  It will probably not be until the spring or summer that we hear any results, based on the other case.

  






Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on September 18, 2010, 10:23:31 am
I agree with that. Everyone should at least leave a comment along the lines of 'I oppose import restrictions for (ancient) coins.'


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: mwilson603 on September 18, 2010, 01:59:08 pm
Success! Your Comment Has Been Submitted
Comment Tracking Number: 80b52ac0
Thank you for submitting a comment on the following NOTICES
Document ID: DOS-2010-0339-0001: Receipt of Cultural Property Request from the Government of the Hellenic Republic

regards
Mark


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on September 19, 2010, 05:35:39 am
Apparently, the Greek embassy has gotten into the act, urging archaeologists to send in comments in support for this MOU, proving Greece is coordinating with the AIA. In one day, comments for the MOU almost doubled. Read about it here:
http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2010/09/greek-embassy-urges-us-archaeologists.html

Submit your comments if you have not already.
http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#submitComment?R=0900006480b4e289


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: zoey on September 19, 2010, 09:22:01 am
The purpose of ancient coins making just for exchange and be the currency for using among
the cities in the past. No one can claim as the owner,otherwise the U.S.government in next  1,000 years can claim the U.S.coins and banknote of the present time which using over the world back to U.S.A. as the owner culture of these ancient coins and note.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on September 19, 2010, 06:27:14 pm
with typical government inefficiency the form is unnecessarily complicated, imo.

the drop-down menu has no simple 'State Dept' option, so which office do i address my comments to?

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: El Reye on September 19, 2010, 06:37:47 pm
Just use the link provided by areich in comment #142 fill in your comments and hit submit its' real easy


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on September 19, 2010, 06:58:37 pm
thanks El Reye .
i was hoping to direct it more specifically in the hope that it might carry more weight. i guess i'll just leave a comment in the generic box then.

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: zoey on September 19, 2010, 08:59:34 pm
 My succes comment tracking no. :  80b53170


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: ancientone on September 20, 2010, 05:35:48 am
Success! Your Comment Has Been Submitted
Comment Tracking Number: 80b53231
Thank you for submitting a comment on the following NOTICES

Document ID: DOS-2010-0339-0001: Receipt of Cultural Property Request from the Government of the Hellenic Republic


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 21, 2010, 12:26:08 am
I found the page to be kind of weird and vaguely dystopian.  My question is: are comments viewable?  I wasn't able to find any.  I don't mind if someone sees my comment if I make one.  It probably just goes to Cass Sunstein's round file.  I would have thought the pertinent page would have been the State Dept. page?  This isn't a regulation, it's a treaty.

By the way, as part of my birthday, I received a Ptolemaic bronze.  Not exactly "Greek", really Hellenistic or Macedonian, but Greece would probably claim it.  Haha, I have it and Greece doesn't!  In having this one coin, I probably have more money than they!



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on September 21, 2010, 12:59:12 am
I found the page to be kind of weird and vaguely dystopian.  My question is: are comments viewable?  I wasn't able to find any.  I don't mind if someone sees my comment if I make one.  It probably just goes to Cass Sunstein's round file.  I would have thought the pertinent page would have been the State Dept. page?  This isn't a regulation, it's a treaty.

You are largely echoing my thoughts.
"Success!" it says, but success at what? At posting comments that may not be read? At posting them to a site that does not appear to be associated with the department making the decision?
Further, as with our Italian MOU comments, I wonder if the required personal info they collect might not be used to create a database of collectors should ownership become illegal at some future date.
I don't trust those involved, not at all. However, I gave the government the benefit of the doubt, set aside my paranoia, and voiced my opposition.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on September 21, 2010, 01:14:18 am
By the way, as part of my birthday, I received a Ptolemaic bronze.  Not exactly "Greek", really Hellenistic or Macedonian, but Greece would probably claim it.  Haha, I have it and Greece doesn't!  In having this one coin, I probably have more money than they!

comments like this really do nothing to further our case. you should aim your rage at the petty bean counters who create these short-sided regulations and then move on to the next knee-jerk cause, not at Greece itself. the problem they are seeking to correct is a real one, only their methods are misguided, imo.

Quote from: commodus
I wonder if the required personal info they collect might not be used to create a database of collectors should ownership become illegal at some future date.
I don't trust those involved, not at all.


unfortunately i echo your thoughts here. i hope my paranoia is unfounded, but again, it's the bean counters' game and they make the rules.
i have even contemplated removing my gallery should this regulation go into effect.  >:(

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on September 21, 2010, 01:44:40 am
My question is: are comments viewable?  I wasn't able to find any. 

I can't find them either. Apparently the comments are public, and viewable, as others here and on the MONETA-L list have cited them, but where, I don't know. I certainly can't find it on the comment website. Maybe someone with the link to viewing the comments could enlighten the rest of us.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: rover1.3 on September 21, 2010, 01:50:27 am

By the way, as part of my birthday, I received a Ptolemaic bronze.  Not exactly "Greek", really Hellenistic or Macedonian, but Greece would probably claim it.  Haha, I have it and Greece doesn't!  In having this one coin, I probably have more money than they!


If you and others like you just sign this form instead of saying all these childish ironies you insist on saying,you will help the real dialogue between members.Ancient Greece also teach you-among others- the dialogue,but i sadly see you haven't learn a lot...


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on September 21, 2010, 01:59:15 am
http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#docketDetail?R=DOS-2010-0339

simply check 'public submissions', those are the comments on the issue.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on September 21, 2010, 02:56:16 am
http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#docketDetail?R=DOS-2010-0339

simply check 'public submissions', those are the comments on the issue.

Thank you, Andreas, for pointing that out. Interestingly, my comment which was made last week was not in the list. I reposted my comments and will wait to see if this one is added to the list. I did receive the "Success" dialog the first time around, and assumed it went through.  I kept my comment tracking number this time. It would behoove you all to check and see if your comments were actually submitted or not.

Danny


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 21, 2010, 03:01:55 am
Ah, ok.  The public submissions box was unchecked.  Simply checking it brought up the submissions.  You'll have to forgive me, as I'm not exactly a regular on regulations.gov.  Anyway, thanks - I see the submissions now.  The most recent ones seem to be friendly to our side.  I don't want to check out the Pierre Lavals right now, as I don't want to go to bed angry.

Cool, thanks!  Mystery solved!  I was wondering why everyone was sharing the submission number.  



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on September 21, 2010, 03:06:00 am
Somewhere (maybe in the confirmation message?) I read that it might take several weeks for comments to be displayed.
Obviously they'd filter out spam and obscenities, hopefully not more. Looking at the comments they seem to approve them in batches.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Will Hooton on September 21, 2010, 03:28:35 am
http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#docketDetail?R=DOS-2010-0339

simply check 'public submissions', those are the comments on the issue.

 Interestingly, my comment which was made last week was not in the list. I reposted my comments and will wait to see if this one is added to the list. I did receive the "Success" dialog the first time around, and assumed it went through.  I kept my comment tracking number this time. It would behoove you all to check and see if your comments were actually submitted or not.

Danny

Danny, your comment is there. You must have missed it.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Will Hooton on September 21, 2010, 03:36:11 am
Before I submit my comment, I would like to know something since I am a bit slow on the uptake.

1) Do we actually know for a fact the Hellenic Republic IS actually including coins as part of the of the Memorandum of Understanding with the United States of America and if so would anybody kindly point out to me where it says so in black and white.

2) What will the influence of comments be on the outcome of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Hellenic Republic and the United States of America, if any?

Thanks.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on September 21, 2010, 03:38:40 am
1) What is in the request is confidential. It says so somewhere.

2) Who knows? It can't hurt. I don't truly think they'll use these comments as a database of people to watch.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on September 21, 2010, 04:10:26 am
Danny, your comment is there. You must have missed it.

Thanks Will. I see it now. I guess I've overlooked a lot of things. It seems that several people have posted twice, so I'm not alone.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on September 21, 2010, 04:39:16 am
Those are mostly attached word files, this generates two entries.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Xenophon on September 22, 2010, 06:57:49 am
David Sear's contribution (0652) is very erudite and to the point.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on September 22, 2010, 09:30:55 am
Thank you Andreas. I can now word my comment more appropriately.

I don't truly think they'll use these comments as a database of people to watch.


With a Democrat government you just never know!  :-*

It's actually not them that worry me, but the other ones. :-X


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 22, 2010, 10:29:38 am
I guess we'll have to sit and await the decision of some faceless, unaccountable, bureaucrat now.  Isn't that great?  We'll probably have to wait forever, based upon the other one.

Needless to say, if the decision goes against us, I shall happily disobey the ruling.




Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Roy P on September 22, 2010, 03:12:15 pm
I think at this point, we have to wonder, are there any coin collectors on either side of the negotiations? At some point there HAS to be someone involved in this whole process that could lend common sense to the discussion. Let's hope! :-\


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: alexius on September 22, 2010, 03:45:11 pm
Regrettably- probably not.  I suspect the bureaucratic view will be "will the agreement cost more money?" and "will it 'help' the diplomatic relationship with Greece?" as the top considerations followed by media reaction. The personal views of what they would see as a small group of collectors  and dealers would be well down the list.

Are such regulations reviewable by Congress or one of its committees? If so perhaps leaning on your elected representatives might help.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 22, 2010, 10:07:08 pm
I had wondered something similar.  After all, this is a treaty and not a regulation.  It should at least be the U.S. Ambassador's domain or better yet, a treaty to be ratified by the Senate.

I don't see how it could save them any money; quite the opposite.  Enforcement would be difficult and extremely costly.  One would have to hire experts to distinguish between various coins.  Furthermore, how would one determine an Athenian owl from a Phoenician/Egyptian imitation?

I won't support anything that oppresses me, so they'd have to shoot me (and finish me off)  to pry even my crummiest owl away. I would hide or destroy the items before it reached that point, anyway. I don't have any owls at the moment (I never had much interest in them), but I'll have to buy one to enrage the nabobs.   The $150 or so for a  mediocre later one would be well worth the cost.

I'm not a t-shirt wearer, but a burgeoning cottage industry would be to come up with defiant t-shirts.  A good limerick usually enrages the opposition.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: rover1.3 on September 23, 2010, 04:10:14 am
«Έξεστι Κλαζομενίοις Ασχημονείν»


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 23, 2010, 11:39:04 am
I'm sure it's an insult, but unfortunately Google translation won't translate it.  Same to you, I'm sure!

I have personally insulted (and I mean insulted!)  people as high as senators on important committees; the very highest that would write back, so insulting you would be quite a comedown.   Besides, I've never had cause or the desire to personally insult a Forum member, so I'd rather keep it that way, if possible.  Insulting important people is fun, but flaming a stranger on an internet forum is rather inane and would be erased, anyway.  

This also goes to prove one of my points; such MOUs can only serve to create emnity between various countries.  It would also increase the black market exponentially, ala Prohibition.  I drink maybe 3 beers a year, but I would have been one of the first to run out to a speakeasy.

We'll just have to sit tight and see what happens. Coins might not even be on the MOU.

All I want is to have the freedom to buy a coin, take care of it, and enjoy it.  That's not much to ask for.




Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: rover1.3 on September 23, 2010, 11:59:18 am
If you want to understand the meaning, ask some of your compatriots. I am sure that many of them know the meaning and what's behind.
Fortunately, the majority of them are more mindful, kind an sensible than you.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: mwilson603 on September 23, 2010, 12:54:39 pm
If you and others like you just sign this form instead of saying all these childish ironies you insist on saying,you will help the real dialogue between members.Ancient Greece also teach you-among others- the dialogue,but i sadly see you haven't learn a lot...
If you want to understand the meaning,ask some of your compatriots.I am sure that plenty of them know the meaning and what's behind.
Fortunately,the majority of them are more mindful,kind an sensible than you.

First you try and preach to the forum about learning from Ancient Greece with regards to dialogue, and then you insult another member in a clear contradiction of the dialogue message you "tried" to put across.

I find it interesting that you are have twice reacted to, and subsequently insulted, a member of the forum who has expressed strong views about breaking the MOU if it is ever agreed.  That makes me think that you are for stopping the trade of Greek coinage.  If that is the case, and you are of course entitled to your view, can I remind you that view may cost the owner of this amazing forum a significant amount of his business. 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: rover1.3 on September 23, 2010, 01:04:08 pm
No my friend, I am against this movement from Greece.
But I can't sit and listen all these ironies! Don't you agree that he uses some really insulting language in his posts? See his previous posts and you will see what I mean.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: areich on September 23, 2010, 01:15:26 pm
I certainly see no reson to insult the Greek people because of this proposed MOU.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: rover1.3 on September 23, 2010, 01:29:19 pm
Ok, Greece has financial problems, we all know it.
But posting like "ha ha the coin is mine now, Greeks can't have it back cause they don't have the money" is extremely insulting IMO. I was patiently waiting for someone to say something and explain to cliff that he uses some insulting language, but I saw that no one said something.


If you really like Greek coins, want to study the ancient Greek culture and all these, don't you think you should at least express your self more carefully about Greece and Greeks?
In case you don't like Greek coins and you don't have a serious interest on them (as you have said many times on this thread), then why you
dont simply ignore all this instead of insulting Greek people?

I bet all members here are against this MOU, but only you acted this way.

"I would hide or destroy the items before it reached that point, anyway. I don't have any owls at the moment (I never had much interest in them), but I'll have to buy one to enrage the nabobs.   The $150 or so for a  mediocre later one would be well worth the cost."

These are YOUR words. Anyone here believe these are not insulting? I think that sensible people in the U.S trying to beat this MOU
by providing real argument, should feel VERY sad reading what you write here. Not to mention that many people on the other side could use all these you are writing for their own purposes.
I don't think you have to feel that you are under a new "alcohol prohibition". Please calm down.

P.S In case you are interesting, it is impossible to be able to study the ancient Greek language using Google translators. Buy some books instead.
The fact that you are not able to read and speak even some basic Greeks is a big prove that you have no relationship, nothing common with Greece, Greek coins and Greek
culture in general.

These are "all Greek" to you.
I should try and learn some of your language's basics before start claiming your country's coins.

 
And last,but not least,your words again.
 I have personally insulted (and I mean insulted!)  people as high as senators on important committees

Ο Νοων Νοειτω, that is my answer... (You can seek for this to your Google translator, i hope this time you to be lucky).


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: curtislclay on September 23, 2010, 01:44:24 pm
On Moneta-L, from John Hooker:

I am copying this response to the list to show that even AIA members do
not all toe the party line:

http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=0900006480b5595b

"I am a Life Member of the Archaeological Institute of America and also
a collector and student of ancient coinage. Although I understand the
concerns for protecting the integrity of archaeological sites within the
borders of Greece, I urge the Department of State to reject the proposed
MOU in its present form.  According to the governing statute,
restrictions can be applied only to artifacts "first discovered in
Greece." But there is no basis for presuming that an ancient Greek coin
in today's collectors market was "first discovered in Greece." Since
ancient times, Greek coins have circulated (and been buried) far outside
the borders of the modern Greek state- to nearly every part of Europe
and as far East as India. Archaeologists can attest that most ancient
Greek coins now extant were discovered outside of modern Greece. The
governing statute also imposes these restrictions only on artifacts of
"cultural significance." But that criterion does not well fit the case
of coins- which were mechanically mass-manufactured and have for
centuries been distributed virtually everywhere in the modern world. 
The governing statute contemplates that less drastic remedies be tried
before the imposition of import restrictions; a successful example is
the UK Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme. But Greece has not
yet tried any such approach before seeking these restrictions. The
governing statute requires that restrictions be consistent with the
interests of the international community in cultural exchanges. But
restrictions will diminish the ability of American collectors to study
these products of Greek culture. Scholars know that the greatest
advances in the study of Greek numismatics (and indeed, ancient Greek
history) have come from the work of institutions and private scholars
outside of modern Greece. The proposed restrictions are perverse,
unfair and discriminatory to Americans. Collectors in the EU--including
Greece--have no similar limitations on their ability to import ancient
coins. The proposed restrictions would harm business relations between
US and EU small businesses, particularly those in Germany and the U.K."

Well done, and a brave response!

Cheers,

John


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Will Hooton on September 25, 2010, 03:52:52 am
It seems that Bavaria has declared it's opposition to the inclusion of numismatic objects in the Memorandum of Understanding proposed by Greece to the United States. Here follows a link to the letter sent to the State Department by the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology.

CLICK FOR PDF.
 (http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=4&sqi=2&ved=0CCgQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.regulations.gov%2Fsearch%2FRegs%2FcontentStreamer%3FobjectId%3D0900006480b542f3%26disposition%3Dattachment%26contentType%3Dpdf&rct=j&q=bavarian%20ministry%20of%20economic%20affairs%20letter%20Greek%20cultural&ei=eMGdTPTpCoT8Ob7UwZoL&usg=AFQjCNGpOyk71zXjMlnRXfkGiLJjULbtEQ&sig2=Cg9bKdxBUeIqWUzK9YAbTg)


To paraphrase JFK;

Ich bin ein Münchner!

( I am not aware that "ein Münchner" is a jam doughnut!)


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on September 25, 2010, 10:22:01 am
Bless you Bavaria!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Xenophon on September 25, 2010, 10:46:37 am
Indeed, hats off to the Germans !


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on September 26, 2010, 01:35:21 am
It seems that Bavaria has declared it's opposition to the inclusion of numismatic objects in the Memorandum of Understanding proposed by Greece to the United States. Here follows a link to the letter sent to the State Department by the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology.

CLICK FOR PDF.
 (http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=4&sqi=2&ved=0CCgQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.regulations.gov%2Fsearch%2FRegs%2FcontentStreamer%3FobjectId%3D0900006480b542f3%26disposition%3Dattachment%26contentType%3Dpdf&rct=j&q=bavarian%20ministry%20of%20economic%20affairs%20letter%20Greek%20cultural&ei=eMGdTPTpCoT8Ob7UwZoL&usg=AFQjCNGpOyk71zXjMlnRXfkGiLJjULbtEQ&sig2=Cg9bKdxBUeIqWUzK9YAbTg)

Proof that these restrictions will negatively impact trade, private business, and economies worldwide. Hopefully the combined voices of collectors, academics, interest groups, dealers and even other governments will be loud enough to make an impact on the final decision of the MOU.

Danny


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Roy P on September 26, 2010, 12:27:17 pm
  It is good to see that some people are aware of the impact on small business trade this foolishness will have. There are many fine German auction houses that would be severely impacted as well as small dealers. It would be great to see the same sort of response from Italians and Greeks who can visualize the reprocussions on small business owners who engage in trade in collector coins in their countries. -Roy


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on September 28, 2010, 07:08:04 am
This is a summary of the public submissions to the Greece-USA Memorandum of Understanding, writtten by John Hooker, who posted it on Moneta-L and requested that it be forwarded.

"The on-line public submission process has closed and the counter recorded 1347 entries. After tallying all of these, I came up with the following results:

71.2% were opposing the MOU, completely, or provisionally. Their main provision, overwhelmingly, cited coins, and coins were also mentioned by the vast majority of those rejected the MOU outright.

28.8% were supporting the MOU, unprovisionally. I saw very few of these that even mentioned coins.

These results must be taken as an approximation for the following reasons: with such a repetitive task, errors are bound to occur -- especially at moments of distraction. I was aware of this fact as I proceeded, and did my best to avoid them. I am sure that they will be well below 1%. If I was unsure if I had recorded one that supported the MOU, I assumed that I had not and marked it down. I was counting the supporting votes as it was quicker.

There were a number of repeated entries -- apparently, some people were unsure if their submission had got through and had sent it again. This happened mostly with attachments. I did not tally these, thinking that such errors could happen on either side and while the total numbers would be affected thus, the percentages would be far less so. Subsequent observation showed that the pro MOU side were more likely to send attachments, so again, their percentage might even be lower than what I give here.

There were a few submissions in a format that my computer could not recognize. They might be an incomplete stage of conversions such as PDF and HTML. It seemed most of these came from submitters on the pro MOU side, so I gave them to that side, save for the times when I saw that the attachment was from someone I knew to be on the side not supporting the MOU.

Being on the side that does not support the MOU, I gave as much credit to the other side as was feasible. My best guess is that an in-depth analysis would give us a slightly higher percentage, perhaps around 72-73% -- but the difference is insignificant and this is only a guess.

The difficulty, with these submissions, is that they were not for a single issue. The majority of those who supported the MOU seemed unaware that there was such an issue over the inclusion of coins. The bulk of their responses can be defined thus:

Greece is wonderful -- looting is bad -- sign the MOU. I am not trying to disparage, here, merely abstract. Most of their responses were well written, evocative, and passionate. What they did not include, virtually to a person -- was any consideration of a valid opposing view. They seemed unaware of the problems of conflicting infrastructures and the potential loss of rights set forth in various constitutions. Their responses were largely "black box" thinking -- the MOU was a magic pill
that would make all of the bad go away. If they had ideas that differed from what I give here, they kept them to themselves. A lesser number of them, gave personal accounts of seeing the effects of looting, or said something to the effect that they would like to continue doing archaeological work in Greece.

The numismatists side, overwhelmingly, gave many reasons for their alarm and this went far beyond numismatic concerns (of which there were several types). The responses also addressed discrimination against Americans that was not also applied to the EU as constitutions were in place forbidding such in some places. This was echoed by Martin Zeil, the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology, who sternly said:

"If the import of certain coins into the United States required an export licence granted by authorities of the export country in future, this requirement could not be fulfilled by German retailers. Legal trade would then hardly be possible between Germany and the United States."
http://tinyurl.com/2bl97hr

Martin Zeil also addressed the infrastructure aspect citing numbers of Germans involved in the trade. On the numismatists side, such infrastructure numbers were also given by Heritage Auction Galleries: http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=0900006480b54fb9

Responses on both sides made some use of templates or pasted their points of contention from external sources, mostly including personal content. There were respectful comments and belligerent comments -- I saw no limits to the range of emotions or styles. There were a few who didn't seem to know what they were doing there (I gave them to the pro MOU side). One man introduced himself and told us how many kids he had.That was it! I suppose he had been told "If you want to cast your vote, go here." He did, and thought that by doing so he had voted.

I could see no sharp divisions among numismatists from their responses -- these went from brief to very detailed, and the numismatists from beginners to published authorities without the slightest trace of class distinctions. Very few numismatists objected to the MOU without listing a couple of reasons and some addressed more than six.

I am pleased that the submission process was made so transparent, but I wonder why. From the responses to the Italian MOU, I cannot imagine that the State Department was expecting a much different response than the one it got. They are intelligent people. Occam's razor would demand that they were looking for an expedient solution that would be seen to be democratic and that they would pass some sort of MOU that would exclude restrictions on coins. By doing so, they could point to the results to support their decision.

But perhaps Occam's razor cannot be employed for DOS -- only time will tell.

Cheers,

John"



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: El Reye on November 14, 2010, 12:36:36 pm
Has anyone heard any updates ??


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Roy P on December 21, 2010, 08:35:28 am
It has been about a month and a half since there has been any additional input on the Italian MOU. The end of the year is here, and the old MOU is about to require replacement.  A couple days into the year, the New York International is taking place, requiring people to pass through Customs. This can have a huge impact on the show. Is there any new word at this point? Time is drawing near.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Minos on January 19, 2011, 09:08:09 am
An update from Alfredo De La Fe, through Moneta-L.

Federal Register /Vol. 76, No. 12 /Wednesday, January 19, 2011 /Rules and Regulations

"Extension of Import Restrictions
Imposed on Archaeological Material
Originating in Italy and Representing
the Pre-Classical, Classical, and
Imperial Roman Periods.

...

F. Coins of Italian Types—A type
catalogue of listed currency and coins
can be found in N.K. Rutter et al. (eds.),
Historia Numorum: Italy (London,
2001). Others appear in G.F. Hill Coins
of Ancient Sicily (Westminster, 1903).
1. Lumps of bronze (Aes Rude)—
Irregular lumps of bronze used as an
early medium of exchange in Italy from
the 9th century B.C.
2. Bronze bars (Ramo Secco and Aes
Signatum)—Cast bronze bars (whole or
cut) used as a media of exchange in
central Italy and Etruria from the 5th
century B.C.
3. Cast coins (Aes Grave)—Cast
bronze coins of Rome, Etruscan, and
Italian cities from the 4th century B.C.
4. Struck coins—Struck coins of the
Roman Republic and Etruscan cities
produced in gold, silver, and bronze
from the 3rd century B.C. to c. 211 B.C.,
including the ‘‘Romano-Campanian’’
coinage.
5. Struck colonial coinage—Struck
bronze coins of Roman republican and
early imperial colonies and municipia
in Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia from the
3rd century B.C. to c. A.D. 37.
6. Coins of the Greek cities—Coins of
the Greek cities in the southern Italian
peninsula and in Sicily (Magna
Graecia), cast or struck in gold, silver,
and bronze, from the late 6th century
B.C. to c. 200 B.C."

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/pdf/2011-882.pdf

 :-[


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: cliff_marsland on January 19, 2011, 10:19:26 am
I fully expected these vultures to sell us out.  Fortunately it doesn't seem to encompass everything.  They weren't segments that I really collected, but it is certainly an incentive to start, with a friendly one-finger salute to the unaccountable slob/s that decided this.

It is unfathomable that any American would support this, and it sets a bad precedent.  Looks like Jean Shepherd was correct in his low opinion of people in general, "It's a slob world," as he said many times on his famous WOR show.

I wonder how much we'll be sold out when the Greek decision comes out?

Can anyone say black market?  These dipsticks will never learn from history (Prohibition, etc. etc.)  It's not going to stop "illegal" digging.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on January 19, 2011, 11:11:36 am
Will this be enforced for exports from Italy only? How will this affect imports from other countries? Will a coin struck at a Rome mint sold in Britain or Germany and sent to the US be confiscated as Italian cultural heritage?

How about the coins that one has already purchased, traveling across borders? If one enters the US with ancient coins on their person that were minted in ancient Roman territory that is now controlled by modern Italy, will they be confiscated? Many coins that would fall under the above description are sold from US dealers. Will exports be monitored as well?

Definitely another blow to the ancient coin collecting community specifically and individual property rights of Americans in general.





 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Andrew McCabe on January 19, 2011, 11:32:14 am
Will this be enforced for exports from Italy only? How will this affect imports from other countries? Will a coin struck at a Rome mint sold in Britain or Germany and sent to the US be confiscated as Italian cultural heritage?

How about the coins that one has already purchased, traveling across borders? If one enters the US with ancient coins on their person that were minted in ancient Roman territory that is now controlled by modern Italy, will they be confiscated? Many coins that would fall under the above description are sold from US dealers. Will exports be monitored as well?

Definitely another blow to the ancient coin collecting community specifically and individual property rights of Americans in general.
 

It doesn't include the Denarius coinage of the Roman Republic and associated bronzes. Nor Roman Imperial. Whew!

The defined coins are very specific, covering only Magna Graecia coinages and those Roman coinages - Didrachms and Aes Grave - struck in Italy before Rome became a world power (at the 2nd Punic War), plus local (city-issued) Italian bronze coinages. One might reasonably expect 90% - 100% of such coins to have been found in Italy. I understand it applies regardless whether the coins are imported from Italy or any other country, the logic being that coins covered by this narrow definition were almost certainly found on Italian soil at some point.

In many respects a reasonable compromise. Although the value of my large collection of Aes Grave has no doubt plummeted due to being unable to sell them in USA any longer.

Apart from the value issue, I don't care much about the issue as I live inside EU, indeed in a source country (many EU countries are source countries for Roman coins) where possession and trading in ancient coins is absolutely no problem at all. US collectors might however wish to emigrate.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: benito on January 19, 2011, 11:51:16 am
Will this be enforced for exports from Italy only? How will this affect imports from other countries? Will a coin struck at a Rome mint sold in Britain or Germany and sent to the US be confiscated as Italian cultural heritage?

How about the coins that one has already purchased, traveling across borders? If one enters the US with ancient coins on their person that were minted in ancient Roman territory that is now controlled by modern Italy, will they be confiscated? Many coins that would fall under the above description are sold from US dealers. Will exports be monitored as well?

Definitely another blow to the ancient coin collecting community specifically and individual property rights of Americans in general.
 

It doesn't include the Denarius coinage of the Roman Republic and associated bronzes. Nor Roman Imperial. Whew!

The defined coins are very specific, covering only Magna Graecia coinages and those Roman coinages - Didrachms and Aes Grave - struck in Italy before Rome became a world power (at the 2nd Punic War), plus local (city-issued) Italian bronze coinages. One might reasonably expect 90% - 100% of such coins to have been found in Italy. I understand it applies regardless whether the coins are imported from Italy or any other country, the logic being that coins covered by this narrow definition were almost certainly found on Italian soil at some point.

In many respects a reasonable compromise. Although the value of my large collection of Aes Grave has no doubt plummeted due to being unable to sell them in USA any longer.

Apart from the value issue, I don't care much about the issue as I live inside EU, indeed in a source country (many EU countries are source countries for Roman coins) where possession and trading in ancient coins is absolutely no problem at all. US collectors might however wish to emigrate.

I think you should have no problems with your AEs grave. You have proof that they left Italy before the 19th January. I own a few "Romano-Campanian’’
with bill of sale ,and the Auction catalogues from which I bought them.No problems for me either.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on January 19, 2011, 01:34:37 pm
The defined coins are very specific, covering only Magna Graecia coinages and those Roman coinages - Didrachms and Aes Grave - struck in Italy before Rome became a world power (at the 2nd Punic War), plus local (city-issued) Italian bronze coinages.

yeah, great.
well then i'm screwed! my entire numismatic focus is on the pre-Roman coinage of southern Italy.
what a bunch of myopic govern-o-bots, fooling themselves into thinking they've done some great deed to protect Italy's 'cultural heritage', when they can't even enforce the rules which already exist. pathetic!

i will now be boycotting spaghetti, loafers, bad comedy, and anything else which might originate in Italy. let's see how this decision effects their already thriving economy!

~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Andrew McCabe on January 19, 2011, 02:25:36 pm
yeah, great.
well then i'm screwed! my entire numismatic focus is on the pre-Roman coinage of southern Italy.
what a bunch of myopic govern-o-bots, fooling themselves into thinking they've done some great deed to protect Italy's 'cultural heritage', when they can't even enforce the rules which already exist. pathetic!

i will now be boycotting spaghetti, loafers, bad comedy, and anything else which might originate in Italy. let's see how this decision effects their already thriving economy!

~ Peter

Pizza too.

"Screwed" assumes you wish to add more coins in this area. If you are in the USA and have thoughts of changing numismatic direction then you are sitting on irreplaceable valuable treasure.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on January 19, 2011, 03:00:27 pm
"Screwed" assumes you wish to add more coins in this area. If you are in the USA and have thoughts of changing numismatic direction then you are sitting on irreplaceable valuable treasure.

it is (was?) absolutely my intention to add to my collection in this area!  >:(
why is it always the short-sighted dummies (on either side of the pond) who get to make all the decisions? (rhetorical question)


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: casata137ec on January 19, 2011, 03:27:54 pm
Gahhhh...that gets me too (sicilian coinage)! Well actually, I guess 5th and 4th century BCE  sicilian coinage is still ok?  Is everyone selling these coins now suppose to take them off of their sites/shelves and send them back to Italy?

Chris

PS Looks like my paltry collection of bronzes just spiked in price! lol
C.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: El Reye on January 19, 2011, 04:29:16 pm
Screwed again by this government, and you know this is only the first step.

Cameron


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: vk on January 22, 2011, 05:12:34 pm
While the damage this time was lessened by excluding Roman coins after 200 BC, this means that the State Department is likely to continue to add import restrictions.  I believe that Greece is up next.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: mwilson603 on January 22, 2011, 07:11:20 pm
Obviously I am aware that the MOU is to do with restricting further trade and not really the return of previously obtained objects, however if Italy and Greece are so keen on insisting on cultural patrimony, can I safely assume these countries will start to send back the wealth of other countries treasures that currently reside in museums within those 2 countries?
 
For example, the Turin museum is extremely proud of "one of the best collections of Egyptian artefacts to be found outside of Cairo. Younger visitors will no doubt enjoy the reconstructed burial chambers, as well the myriad of mummies that are always the source of a macabre fascination."  Surely in a case of leading by example, the Italian government will ensure that these culturally significant exhibits are instantly returned to Egypt to strengthen their own point, won't they? (rhetorical question, no need to respond)

regards
Mark


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 22, 2011, 07:28:37 pm
I doubt we in the US need to worry much about any internal enforcement of the MOU when it comes to trading coins that are already here.
Particularly not if there is proof they entered the US before the MOU. ;) All those COAs may come in handy after all!
The authorities have bigger things to worry their little heads over than whether any of these materials get sold at a coin show, a shop, or even over the internet.
I'm not too worried.
My feelings about the PRINCIPLE of the thing, however, is another matter.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: vk on January 22, 2011, 10:41:04 pm
I talked to a couple of dealers, and they said that the policy only applied to new imports.   Coin sales have been a legal business for many years.  I don't believe there would be a basis for asking owners to return coins.  However, I'm certainly going to keep all my records in case I want to sell any of my collection in the future to show that the coins pre-date the restrictions.

My real issue is that it is illegal for Italy as part of the EU to restrict sales of these coins to other countries within the EU.  It makes no logical sense for Italy to ask for import restrictions only to the US.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 22, 2011, 11:48:35 pm
i will now be boycotting spaghetti, loafers, bad comedy, and anything else which might originate in Italy. let's see how this decision effects their already thriving economy!

I understand how you feel, but bear in mind that, regardless of what Italy asked for in the MOU, the US State Department didn't have to agree to it. Consequently, it is OUR government which I feel is really the one to blame.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on January 23, 2011, 12:41:06 pm
No, it's Greece for starting it. The real solution would be to get them to change their attitude.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Andrew McCabe on January 23, 2011, 01:19:31 pm
No, it's Greece for starting it. The real solution would be to get them to change their attitude.

That'll never happen after they've begun to achieve success. Look at it from the perspective of the Italians - it's an easy/lazy/no-cost solution to regulating antiquity trade to ask the US to ban imports. Don't blame the Italians - of course they asked, who wouldn't? It's US action that is the issue.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on January 23, 2011, 01:31:30 pm
It's a problem which began in Europe, and has to be dealt with here. Your politicians have no understanding of the issues involved, and if one lot don't take the easy route and give in, the next probably will. It won't go away unless we can get it sorted. You lot over there could help by pressurising European governments and the EC, if you could only see beyond your own borders!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Andrew McCabe on January 23, 2011, 02:38:03 pm
It's a problem which began in Europe, and has to be dealt with here. Your politicians have no understanding of the issues involved, and if one lot don't take the easy route and give in, the next probably will. It won't go away unless we can get it sorted. You lot over there could help by pressurising European governments and the EC, if you could only see beyond your own borders!

I'm confused as to who "you lot", "yours", refers to, (I understand Robert lives in Europe) but anyway bear in mind that this issue is not really a problem if you live in Europe. There's a minor inconvenience from not being able to sell into or buy from the USA, but even in Italy coin collecting is perfectly legal and accepted (so long as you don't export) whilst other countries such as UK have completely benign laws - you can sell what you dig up, perfectly legally, within some sensible rules and controls. The regulation in question was enacted by the US government, presumably for bilateral political reasons involving US-Italy relations (no doubt involving export or trades incentives, and possibly with past cases such as the Euainetos Krater used as examples to add negotiating pressure). In the free-trade zone in Europe it would be inconceivable that such regulations could be put in place because there is simply no customs-posts at European borders any more. There's no physical means to regulate coins being distributed around Europe. And I can sort-of understand why Italy asked for this - as I said before it is an easy lazy route that reduces the trouble of realistic and complex control legislation and related policing. Just ask one of the main consuming country to stop imports - easy.

I'm sympathetic as to the position this places US collectors in, but it is less of an issue in Europe. Italy needs much better laws anyway to change incentives away from collecting based on clandestine sources, to collecting based on open sources such as in the UK, but that's not really the issue here. This is about a US trade regulation.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 23, 2011, 10:34:18 pm
If Italy wishes to restrict any exports, whatever they may be, that is Italy's prerogative; but the responsibility for enforcing those restrictions should be an Italian one, enforced by the Italian customs services and not one enforced by the American customs services. I also don't fault the Italian government for requesting this action from the United States on its behalf. I do, however, fault the United States government for agreeing to it. Whether the United States will actually enforce it is another matter (I have my doubts). In any case, the precedent was set several years ago when the U.S. made a similar agreement with Cyprus. I fear the outcome of the MOU request by Greece will be no different.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Andrew McCabe on January 24, 2011, 01:11:01 am
If Italy wishes to restrict any exports, whatever they may be, that is Italy's prerogative; but the responsibility for enforcing those restrictions should be an Italian one, enforced by the Italian customs services and not one enforced by the American customs services. I also don't fault the Italian government for requesting this action from the United States on its behalf. I do, however, fault the United States government for agreeing to it. Whether the United States will actually enforce it is another matter (I have my doubts). In any case, the precedent was set several years ago when the U.S. made a similar agreement with Cyprus. I fear the outcome of the MOU request by Greece will be no different.

I fully agree with the sentiments, but on a practical note, trade laws are an EU matter not a national matter, and whilst countries can block individual cultural exports on grounds of national importance, they don't have the legal prerogative to block huge swathes/categories such as "coins". It's all on a case by case basis. Italy can deal with how antiquities are managed within Italy, but not at its borders except by the totally unworkable route of requiring export permits for every single old looking lump of metal. In theory once could seek, and should succeed in obtaining, an export permit for each coin, showing in each case that the coin in question is not a national treasure. In practice, owners drive to San Marino (which is of course a foreign country).

How to fix this? Italy can of course try to enforce its own laws but its own laws are unworkable, having no practical route for found objects to reach the legitimate market, anything except the outcome of a controlled excavation being considered illicit. Yet it still allows coin and antiquity dealing in Italy so there is an element of nonsense in the whole charade.

Faced with this situation Italy had two options (1) either set up a comprehensive and workable system for dealing with antiquities as they come out of the ground, such as in the UK, where so long as you report properly, you retain the right to retain the object, or its value if deemed treasure (according to defined rules that share with landowners etc).  Or (2) ask the US to stop imports. The latter is much the easier solution.

Amazingly the US agreed.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Maffeo on January 24, 2011, 01:28:20 am
In practice, of course, such US regulation of the importation of the coins in question can only be partially imposed. I can imagine the bulk buying by dealers, or the purchase of exceptional, well-publicized pieces could be controlled, but when it comes to private individuals bringing into the US one or two of these? Don't tell me the US customs will hereafter examine every coin-purse, wallet, or simply pocket containing small change on the lookout for determined Italian-type coins...


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 24, 2011, 01:42:57 am
In practice, of course, such US regulation of the importation of the coins in question can only be partially imposed. I can imagine the bulk buying by dealers, or the purchase of exceptional, well-publicized pieces could be controlled, but when it comes to private individuals bringing into the US one or two of these? Don't tell me the US customs will hereafter examine every coin-purse, wallet, or simply pocket containing small change on the lookout for determined Italian-type coins...

You are absolutely correct: they won't. I as a collector am not at all worried about this affecting items I may buy abroad and bring back. It is dealers who will be more directly affected, though there is plenty of stock for dealers already in the US. Were I a dealer in ancient coins I would be more worried about the impact this would potentially have upon me were I to attend shows abroad or do much overseas purchasing. Few individual US collectors are likely to be directly affected.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Wolfpack on January 24, 2011, 10:43:21 am
5. Struck colonial coinage—Struck
bronze coins of Roman republican and
early imperial colonies and municipia
in Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia from the
3rd century B.C. to c. A.D. 37.

People are saying this does not include Republican coinage..  It sure seems to by looking at #5.  Perhaps the Caesar of an elephant trampling a serpent would be exempt because it was produced in Gaul (I assume).  But this would seem to cover even imperial issues of Augustus and Tiberius.  Am I reading it wrong?


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Wolfpack on January 24, 2011, 10:48:03 am
...

I think you should have no problems with your AEs grave. You have proof that they left Italy before the 19th January. I own a few "Romano-Campanian’’
with bill of sale ,and the Auction catalogues from which I bought them.No problems for me either.


The initial proposal mentioned it had to be exported prior to the early 1970s and you had to have proof.  Was that changed to Jan 19th 2011?  I assumed they wanted a minimum date so that they could protect their spoils that they looted from Egypt and other places without being hypocrites.



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 24, 2011, 10:59:49 am
5. Struck colonial coinage—Struck
bronze coins of Roman republican and
early imperial colonies and municipia
in Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia from the
3rd century B.C. to c. A.D. 37.

People are saying this does not include Republican coinage..  It sure seems to by looking at #5.  Perhaps the Caesar of an elephant trampling a serpent would be exempt because it was produced in Gaul (I assume).  But this would seem to cover even imperial issues of Augustus and Tiberius.  Am I reading it wrong?


Reread it carefully noting especially the terms "colonial coinage" and "struck bronze."
This does not cover general issue coinage at all or any coins made from silver or gold.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Wolfpack on January 24, 2011, 12:10:59 pm
Screwed again by this government, and you know this is only the first step.

Cameron

Layoff the Fox news hate and fear mongering.  This MOU is a bureaucratic screw up by the well intentioned but ill-informed and nothing else.


I do hope though that no funding is set aside for this.  First, we need to reduce spending on frivolous things. 2nd, the US shouldn't spend any of our tax money so that Italy and Greece can loot things that by large part, don't reasonably belong to them.  As congress prepares for budget discussions, perhaps this is the next step to attack the MOU.


Even if that fails, perhaps we can take solace in how little the government has done to stop fraud in counterfeiting ancient coins.  If they don't have the money or effort to make an impact in that area, odds are their impact at customs will be minimal as well.  They simply don't have the expertise even if they have a desire and funding.  This means they may improperly limit some things the first few years (my concern) while letting others through that are "mislabeled".  Mostly postal customs is Homeland Security and the USDA anyway... isn't it?  We're not even talking about a law here, just a policy.  Just label them "Carthaginian imitation of.." or "Celtic imitation of.." or dumb it way down to "old token from Tunisia" or "old token from France".





Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on January 24, 2011, 12:24:46 pm
I'm sympathetic as to the position this places US collectors in, but it is less of an issue in Europe. Italy needs much better laws anyway to change incentives away from collecting based on clandestine sources, to collecting based on open sources such as in the UK, but that's not really the issue here. This is about a US trade regulation.

Yes, but it's one brought in at the request of a European government. Lay the axe to the root, not the shoot, otherwise the problem just grows back again.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: El Reye on January 24, 2011, 05:43:36 pm
Screwed again by this government, and you know this is only the first step.

Cameron

Layoff the Fox news hate and fear mongering.  This MOU is a bureaucratic screw up by the well intentioned but ill-informed and nothing else.


I do hope though that no funding is set aside for this.  First, we need to reduce spending on frivolous things. 2nd, the US shouldn't spend any of our tax money so that Italy and Greece can loot things that by large part, don't reasonably belong to them.  As congress prepares for budget discussions, perhaps this is the next step to attack the MOU.


Even if that fails, perhaps we can take solace in how little the government has done to stop fraud in counterfeiting ancient coins.  If they don't have the money or effort to make an impact in that area, odds are their impact at customs will be minimal as well.  They simply don't have the expertise even if they have a desire and funding.  This means they may improperly limit some things the first few years (my concern) while letting others through that are "mislabeled".  Mostly postal customs is Homeland Security and the USDA anyway... isn't it?  We're not even talking about a law here, just a policy.  Just label them "Carthaginian imitation of.." or "Celtic imitation of.." or dumb it way down to "old token from Tunisia" or "old token from France".





I don’t recall FOX News as having anything to do with this, it’s called INCREMENTALISM and its immediate effects will most likely include approval of the Greek request to add coinage to their MOU followed by a host of other countries in the near future requesting the same.
The true effects of this decision will be more apparent 10 years or so down the road. At some point in time coin dealers, auction houses and collectors will be required to properly document their coins from these areas if they wish to sell them.
If this decision was truly made by low level Bureaucrats why did they need to change the status quo now? I wonder what sort of “Quid Pro Quo” was involved?

Cameron



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: vk on January 24, 2011, 10:08:29 pm
I don't think a conspiracy theory is needed.  Looting of archeology sites is a major issue.  Hard embargoes (see elephant/rhino ivory embargo) work.  I personally do not collect ancient artifacts that were not manufactured in the millions and widely because of my concerns around this issue.

To me, the questions are (1) do coins, which I understand are often not found at archeological sites, contribute meaningfully to the looting, and (2) does this have any meaning if Italy still allows trade in these coins to other EU countries?

It's easy to imagine the archeologists advising the regulators saying that cutting off coins will limit the absolute amount of looting.  It's harder to say that the limitations meet criteria above.  If it can be shown that these issues were not considered and reasonably addressed, then the regulation might be considered arbitrary, which is the normal standard for a court to overturn a regulatory decision in the US.

I personally would like to see the regulatory decision making record.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Andrew McCabe on January 24, 2011, 10:37:17 pm
5. Struck colonial coinage—Struck
bronze coins of Roman republican and
early imperial colonies and municipia
in Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia from the
3rd century B.C. to c. A.D. 37.

People are saying this does not include Republican coinage..  It sure seems to by looking at #5.  Perhaps the Caesar of an elephant trampling a serpent would be exempt because it was produced in Gaul (I assume).  But this would seem to cover even imperial issues of Augustus and Tiberius.  Am I reading it wrong?


You are (thankfully) reading it wrong. "Roman republican and early imperial" in the above sentence is an adjective qualifying "colonies and municipia". This sentence refers to the local bronze coins of the Italian or Sicilian towns of  Paestum, Vibo Valentia, Panormus etc. which continued until the reign of Tiberius.

It's clear from the reference book cited which is Rutter Historia Numorum Italy. There's no post 212BC mainstream Republican coinage in that book (there are some didrachm coinages, and plenty of coinages of the small towns). Pre-212BC Republican coinage is included in the edict (covered by Rutter HNI).

The argument is that the post 212BC coins coincided with the imperial expansion of the Roman Republican and thus may have been dug up anywhere from Portugal to Lebanon. And indeed many were minted outside Italy.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Andrew McCabe on January 24, 2011, 10:53:07 pm
I'm sympathetic as to the position this places US collectors in, but it is less of an issue in Europe. Italy needs much better laws anyway to change incentives away from collecting based on clandestine sources, to collecting based on open sources such as in the UK, but that's not really the issue here. This is about a US trade regulation.

Yes, but it's one brought in at the request of a European government. Lay the axe to the root, not the shoot, otherwise the problem just grows back again.

There's a conundrum Robert. Europe is unaffected. So where is the incentive for Europeans (and specifically Italians who have a say in their government) to do anything about it?

In 2009 I went to an exhibition on returned-looted art in Naples. Very interesting, and indeed most of the exhibits did origin from dug-up tombs etc. (which don't tend to contain coins). I checked from beginning to end of the exhibition and 100% of the returned objects were from
- US museums, or
- Thefts from Italian museums, or
- Excavators caught red-handed at some stage in the process, at the site, shortly after, or at the point of export.

Zero percent were from private collections or the antiquities trade. It appears the police targeted (1) US museums (2) export points (3) criminal tip-offs. They didn't target trade or private collectors (or if they did they were wholly unsuccessful). This reg may be building on their success in targeting exports to the USA.

The Getty and the Met do have to answer for what's happening at the moment - incredibly sloppy acquisition policies allowed them to buy and subsequently have to return many unprovenanced items later proved to have been looted. The Met sold much of its coin collection to buy the Euainitos Krater which then had to be given back.

NB the BM for one has accepted no unprovenanced articles whose origin wasn't known prior to 1970 (UNESCO convention). The Hersh collection of RR assembled mainly in the 1950s just escaped that, and was donated to the museum, doubling the size of its RR collection in 2000 or so, and is well documented on the BM's new website on the subject: http://www.britishmuseum.org/system_pages/holding_area/research/rrc/roman_republican_coins.aspx


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Minos on January 25, 2011, 01:20:16 pm
What would be the proper documentation to have for coins already owned, to allow trade or facilitate circulation if needed. Original receipts are not often that detailed.

Is there something that could be done now to "secure" our collection ?


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 25, 2011, 01:43:07 pm
With regard to some earlier observations here, the United States government unfortuantely opened the "repatriation" floodgates some time ago and the fallout is ever increasing (witness the MOU we are now discussing). Stemming this tide, let alone closing those floodgates, is now virtually impossible, it would seem.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 25, 2011, 01:46:04 pm
What would be the proper documentation to have for coins already owned, to allow trade or facilitate circulation if needed. Original receipts are not often that detailed.

Is there something that could be done now to "secure" our collection ?

No coins already in the US are affected by this. This is about restrictions on imports coming into the country, not on items already here.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Wolfpack on January 25, 2011, 02:04:55 pm

You are (thankfully) reading it wrong. "Roman republican and early imperial" in the above sentence is an adjective qualifying "colonies and municipia". This sentence refers to the local bronze coins of the Italian or Sicilian towns of  Paestum, Vibo Valentia, Panormus etc. which continued until the reign of Tiberius.

It's clear from the reference book cited which is Rutter Historia Numorum Italy. There's no post 212BC mainstream Republican coinage in that book (there are some didrachm coinages, and plenty of coinages of the small towns). Pre-212BC Republican coinage is included in the edict (covered by Rutter HNI).

The argument is that the post 212BC coins coincided with the imperial expansion of the Roman Republican and thus may have been dug up anywhere from Portugal to Lebanon. And indeed many were minted outside Italy.

Thank you for the detailed explanation!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on January 25, 2011, 02:08:42 pm
No coins already in the US are affected by this. This is about restrictions on imports coming into the country, not on items already here.

yeah, but with the burden of proof on the collector.
i'm just glad i kept all my receipts for all these years, but it looks like i won't be saving too many more!   >:(

disgustedly,
~ Peter


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 25, 2011, 02:15:37 pm
No coins already in the US are affected by this. This is about restrictions on imports coming into the country, not on items already here.

yeah, but with the burden of proof on the collector.
i'm just glad i kept all my receipts for all these years, but it looks like i won't be saving too many more!   >:(

disgustedly,
~ Peter

No, this has no bearing on any items already in the United States; there is nothing retroactive about it. This is strictly about items passing through US Customs. Proof of ownership for items already here is not necessary as these are unaffected unless for some reason you carry them out of the country and then return through US Customs with them. For this reason it could have a direct impact on dealers, but only an indirect impact (if any impact at all) on individual collectors. This is strictly about importation of coins into the United States and has nothing whatsoever to do with owning, trading, or selling coins already within U.S. borders. Ownership of the items on the list is not being restricted unless you buy them abroad and bring them across US borders. Again, however, I doubt even that will be seriously enforced, if enforced at all. Besides, it is often difficult to remember to declare every little piece of metal one buys abroad. Don't panic! The sky isn't falling!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 25, 2011, 02:19:04 pm
Following is the text of an email sent out today by Harlan J. Berk:


We recently learned the Italian restriction on antiquities, which was up for renewal, was amended to now include the following ancient coins listed below.  What this means is collectors can only import the following coins into the USA with documentation proving that it was out of the source country before January 19, 2011.  The only good news here is that Roman Imperial as well as most Roman Republican coins were not added to the restriction.  The Greek restriction is up next, and based on this current news it seems coins will most likely be added to it as well.
 
What should be done and what does this mean to you?

Any coins that are already in the USA are legal to own and legal to trade.  The U.S. State Department has now made it difficult for Americans to purchase overseas unless documentation proving ownership prior to 1/19/2011 can be provided for listed restricted coins.  This also means European dealers will not be able to enter the USA with stock for coin fairs without proper documentation on restricted coin types.

What can you do?

It is more important for the good of the industry to document all coins already in this country and abroad.  That way if you or dealers, like us, sell coins overseas the coins will still have the ability to legally travel anywhere.  We hope you realize the importance of documenting your collections so that future generations can still enjoy the hobby for years to come.

Please contact our offices if you have further questions about this.

The current restriction of Italian ancient coins:
 
F. Coins of Italian Types-A type catalogue of listed currency and coins can be found in N.K. Rutter et al. (eds.), Historia Numorum: Italy (London, 2001). Others appear in G.F. Hill Coins of Ancient Sicily (Westminster, 1903).

1. Lumps of bronze (Aes Rude)-Irregular lumps of bronze used as an early medium of exchange in Italy from the 9th century B.C.

2. Bronze bars (Ramo Secco and Aes Signatum)-Cast bronze bars (whole or cut) used as a media of exchange in central Italy and Etruria from the 5th century B.C.

3. Cast coins (Aes Grave)-Cast bronze coins of Rome, Etruscan, and Italian cities from the 4th century B.C.

4. Struck coins-Struck coins of the Roman Republic and Etruscan cities produced in gold, silver, and bronze from the 3rd century B.C. to c. 211 B.C., including the ''Romano-Campanian'' coinage.

5. Struck colonial coinage-Struck bronze coins of Roman republican and early imperial colonies and municipia in Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia from the 3rd century B.C. to c. A.D. 37.

6. Coins of the Greek cities-Coins of the Greek cities in the southern Italian peninsula and in Sicily (Magna Graecia), cast or struck in gold, silver, and bronze, from the late 6th century B.C. to c. 200 B.C.

Link to full written restriction:  http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/pdf/2011-882.pdf


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Lloyd Taylor on January 25, 2011, 03:02:13 pm
Does anyone have any idea of how this restriction will work in practice? 

For example I live in Australia.  Suppose I wish to consign a few coins of the type in question, which I have owned for many years, to a US auction house.

What is required by way of accompanying documentation to prove the coins were out of Italy prior to 19 January 2011? For example I have a 1987 hand written Spink receipt for a Tarentum stater (no image on the receipt of course) - does this suffice as proof? Some others more recently acquired are illustrated in auction catalogs that I have retained.  Does the catalog have to accompany the coin to the US as documentary proof or is reference to the catalog entry sufficient?  And what of coins listed on databases on CoinArchives and acsearch?  Does reference of a specific coin to such a database suffice as documentary proof for the purposes of US customs clearance?

And who is responsible for seeing this process through, the consignor or the consignee?  Does it mean I have to accompany the coins in question, rather than ship them to the auction house?  This approach would of course make selling via consignment to the US prohibitively expensive. And if the consignee accepts the responsibility and work of arranging the clearance i the US then I am sure that he'll want a bigger fee for doing so, which will probably make it worth while considering sale options outside the US.

Similarly, it is likely that purchases by US collectors from dealers outside the US will be charged a premium for the additional documentation for customs (which I suspect will prove quite onerous when requirements are defined) and the risk involved in shipping to the USA.  Then there is issue what happens if a coin fails the documentation test (whatever that is)? Is it seized by US customs or returned to the person from which it originated outside the US?

Then we have the issue of US customs officials ability to differentiate pre- and post- 211 BC coinage? Everything that looks vaguely of Italian ancient origin will likely be seized, or at the least suffer dramatic delays in customs clearance and processing and thus huge customs clearance costs imposts.

It seems to me it just got too hard for me to sell via consignment to US auction houses/dealers and the risk of selling into the US means costs will rise considerably for US purchasers. 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Lloyd Taylor on January 25, 2011, 04:15:08 pm
Follow this up with restrictions on Greeks and the USA becomes an essentially closed market in terms of ancient coins, with all the associated imbalances that arise from restrictive trade barriers. Over the long run the result is a likely net outflow of extant legal inventory accompanied by the development of a strong black market in the incompletely documented stuff. Some like CNG with its multi-channel distribution (England and USA) will be facing some potential conflicting requirements that will have to be managed in the acquisition, marketing and management of inventory (translation higher costs all round).

It'll be interesting to watch the dynamics..... from afar!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: dougsmit on January 25, 2011, 07:05:26 pm
A question:  What documentation will a coin dealer require from a consignor that a coin of the included group existed in the US (or outside Italy) before the cutoff date?   Looking at my collection of low end items, I have an 'included' coin purchased in 1987 for $15.  If I had saved all my receipts for all coins purchased (some for as little as $5 individually - lets not even think about the ones from uncleaned lots), many do not identify the coin well enough to remove all doubt that it is the receipt that went with that coin.  This business obviously means more to dealers in Syracusan dekadrachms but the documentation of a $15 Sicilian coin bought with cash at a coin show in 1987 is probably worth more than the coin.   Since the receipt (if there even was one back then - did you ever buy cheap coins at shows in 1987?) at best said, 'bronze - $15' there is no link between that coin and that receipt.  In my case, I have photos including digital ones with pre 2011 EXIF dates but I also know how to altar an EXIF date.  I published photos of included coins on my website starting before 2011 but those dates are equally challengeable and hard to document in a way that will accompany the coin to its next owner.  Certainly no great attention is to be paid to my $15 junk bronze but I am aware of at least one dekadrachm in private hands that has not changed hands for 50 years.  Finding an illustrated listing of it proving it was here all that time could be just as hard to find as pedigreeing every minor bronze.  When they get around to including the Romans I bought for $1 in the 1960's, the paper trail gets worse. 

I don't plan on selling my collection so this makes no particular matter to me but the practical effect here is to place coin sales at the mercy of the hope that there will be no enforcement.  Proving legality of one $5000 coin might be worth the effort but 1000 $5 coins won't.   The only way to sell a truly legal $15 coin lacking paperwork will be to melt it and take your 15 cents.  Last I heard it is illegal to melt US cents but Syracusan bronzes were not mentioned. 


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 25, 2011, 07:23:21 pm
This is strictly about coins passing through US customs as they enter the country. Once they are here they are no concern of US Customs. No documentation is needed to sell, buy, or trade any coins that were already here before the date of the MOU.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Lloyd Taylor on January 25, 2011, 08:59:18 pm
This is strictly about coins passing through US customs as they enter the country. Once they are here they are no concern of US Customs. No documentation is needed to sell, buy, or trade any coins that were already here before the date of the MOU.

Does that mean that the receipt for any coin purchased in the USA after 19 January 2011 is considered as meeting the documentary requirement that the coin existed outside italy before that date?  I think that such is the case in law.

After all the entry of illegal coins to the USA is prohibited and prevented by customs, so that by definition and in law any coin bought in the USA after 19 January 2011 must have been out of Italy before the 19 January 2011? 

The post January 2011 receipt and documentation accompanying such a coin purchase thus become proof of legality.

Think about it! 8)


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Lloyd Taylor on January 25, 2011, 09:09:37 pm
Also with the attention on and to documentation, I suspect the focus of many a faker will turn to manufacturing documentation a much as pre-211 BC Italian coins! ;)  From an old US collection provenance will be looked upon very favorably in the trade. I can even envisage a new industry based on the laundering illegal finds through the USA market, at least as far as documentation is concerned. 8)


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 25, 2011, 09:17:35 pm
It isn't illegal for Americans to own the coin types in question, only to bring them through customs after January 19, 2011. US Customs has now taken on the obligation of doing Italy's work for it. Before that date any coins brought out of Italy in contravention of Italian law were the problem of Italian Customs -- US Customs didn't care because no US law was broken bringing the coin into the country. Now US Customs does care, at least in theory. But what was already here is none of the business of Customs or any other agency of the US government, legally or otherwise. Coins already here are unaffected by the MOU. We shouldn't make more of this than there is!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Lloyd Taylor on January 25, 2011, 09:44:02 pm
We shouldn't make more of this than there is!

I am not making more of this than there is. It may be OK for you being in the US, but If I were to sell my collection then I would plan to do so in the US, which would require me to import it to the US. Remember there are many perspectives on this change, not simply that of the US centric collector who is arguably the least affected in terms of being denied potential access, due to potentially onerous, and as yet undefined documentary requirements, to the largest ancient coin market in the world when it comes to selling. And it may (indeed I dare say will) effect, one way or the other, the willingness of non-US parties to consign to US dealers and thus their business and the availability of material in the US in the longer term, more so as current US based inventory "leaks" to the international market place. I think it would be myopic of the trade not to consider these potential impacts, although others may disagree! And remember this is just the start, Cyprus, then Italy pre-211 BC, next Greece and then... ???....connect the dots!

Good luck with it, but I dare say that big Syracusian drachm and its ilk eventually will be wrested from your "cold dead hands."  8)  After all this is the ultimate objective of the protagonists of this agenda.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Enodia on January 25, 2011, 10:38:26 pm
if it looks like a cow and it walks like a cow and it MOUs like a cow it's a tax.

 ::)


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Lloyd Taylor on January 25, 2011, 10:46:04 pm
if it looks like a cow and it walks like a cow and it MOUs like a cow it's a tax.
::)

LOL. Yep ...it would be naive to assume that this has no consequence, at the very least, for transaction costs... in market parlance the buy sell spread just widened considerably and that is only the start of it .... all in the name of bureaucracy and a cow of a one at that! :)


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: commodus on January 25, 2011, 11:45:40 pm
Actually, this has already occurred with Cyprus, import restrictions for many Cypriot coins entering the U.S. taking effect on July 16, 2007. Similar import restictions on certain coins entering the U.S. from China went into effect March 9, 2009. Compared to the ridiculous terms of the Cyrpiot and Chinese restrictions, the Italian ones, bad as they are, are positively liberal.
I seriously don't think it will be seriously enforced anyway. Even if it is, I myself have no intention of abiding by it should I purchase something abroad for my collection. As I said, who can remember to declare every little piece of metal one buys when travelling? As Anatole France said long ago "For laws to be respected they first must be respectable."
I am certainly not trying to argue with you, Lloyd. As collectors we are on the same side, after all. And, of course, I am going to be U.S.-centric in my approach. I am a U.S. citizen, this is a U.S. government action, and I am viewing this in light of how it will affect me as such. Everyone in the world is focused on their own interests and those of the country of which they are citizens, whatever they may say to the contrary.
That said, I certainly don't approve of this MOU foolishness that my government has embarked upon, first with Cyprus and China and now, a few years later, with Italy and next, doubtless, with Greece. Then again, I don't approve of a great deal my government does. But, pray telll me, what can I do about it? What can you do about anything the Australian government does? These are matters beyond our ability to influence. We can write letters, send emails, cast ballots. But, as the maxim goes, if these actually affected change they'd be illegal. What we can do is look out for our own personal interests. I am not advising others to scoff at this policy (technically I don't think it can be called law, since it was not enacted by any legislative authority of which I am aware, though that is what it effectively is), but I, as a collector, surely intend to!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Lloyd Taylor on January 26, 2011, 03:50:44 am
Then we have the issue of US customs officials ability to differentiate pre- and post- 211 BC coinage? Everything that looks vaguely of Italian ancient origin will likely be seized, or at the least suffer dramatic delays in customs clearance and processing and thus huge customs clearance costs imposts.

If this is any guide then there is nothing to worry about... http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/culprop/itimage.html

....  I seriously don't think it will be seriously enforced anyway.

So you may be correct in this assessment, in which case it is nothing more than a bureaucratic charade!


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: goldenancients on January 26, 2011, 04:01:33 am
Then we have the issue of US customs officials ability to differentiate pre- and post- 211 BC coinage? Everything that looks vaguely of Italian ancient origin will likely be seized, or at the least suffer dramatic delays in customs clearance and processing and thus huge customs clearance costs imposts.

This is my greatest concern personally. I am an American who lives abroad, travels extensively, and crosses US border customs quite often... usually with several ancient coins in tow. I will soon be returning to the US with my entire collection (most of which was purchased in the States). There are very, very few people that can identify ancient coins of any type whatsoever. What will keep the customs agent who barely passed high school from confiscating any ancient coins he finds just in case it might be illegal - even with proper documentation, whatever that is? Then you have another conundrum: the months or years it might take to get them returned (if at all) and any legal or bureaucratic hoops that you will have to jump through to prove that everything is correct according to the letter of the executive order (not law, as commodus so eloquently stated).

I doubt that this will be enforced. Yet, if it is, there is no possible way that it will be enforced correctly, and the result will most certainly be seizure of any suspicious items since Homeland Security is doubtless NOT in the business of educating their personnel in the fine art of classical numismatic identification.

The sky isn't falling. It's being polluted by the cloud of governmental regulation. 

Regards,
Danny


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Andrew McCabe on January 26, 2011, 06:13:43 am

....  I seriously don't think it will be seriously enforced anyway.

So you may be correct in this assessment, in which case it is nothing more than a bureaucratic charade!

Enforcement is not necessarily the issue. Which European dealer is going to send Magna Graecia / early RR coins to USA in the face of this ban? None I suspect, even if the buyer is willing to take the risk. European auctions are going to come widely labelled with "this coin not available for purchase by US buyers". And despite the nonchalance shown by many on this thread about bringing in coins through US customs, I - in common with many people - blush at the thought of taking even a bottle of liquor past a customs checkpoint, let alone smuggling ancient artefacts which might incur a prison sentence and not just a $20 fine. It won't happen.

For Danny, who wishes to bring his collection back to the USA, I'd suggest after a cool pause for thought that he disposes of his embargoed coins first - or leaves them in safe deposit overseas, and brings back the remainder of the collection containing not a single ancient piece from China, Magna Graecia or Cyprus, in a manner such there isn't a single coin at risk and thus avoiding risk that the whole lot gets confiscated. It's the sensible thing to do. He may find a professional dealer who has the means to import the embargoed coins for him with appropriate testimony of them being in the US prior to Jan 11, possibly using Danny's receipts. But I wouldn't do it myself.

On the latter point, I've a bunch of Magna Graecia coins which I wish to dispose of - about 30, some high quality. Many were purchased originally from the US. I would like to sell them in the USA. I'd prefer to consign the coins and their documentation to a professional in Europe with the request "sort it out" rather than risk a home-made post-myself solution.


Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Rich Beale on January 26, 2011, 07:16:32 am
The sky is most definitely not falling. I have been asked by a number of clients how this is going to impact their ability to purchase ancients in the restricted categories. In reality, this Memorandum will not have a significant effect on legitimate transactions. The stipulation is that the restricted coins must have been outside of Italy as of Jan 19th 2011, not that they must have been inside the US as of that date. Thus US collectors may still purchase from dealers and auctioneers elsewhere in Europe providing that the restricted coin in question has been outside of Italy since before the Memorandum took effect, and one can provide documentation to that effect.

Danny, as long as you have appropriate evidence that the coins were bought legally outside of Italy before 19 Jan (auction catalogue, invoice inlcuding photograph, dealer declaration etc), then you should have nothing to fear in taking them back into the US.

As far as I am concerned, I will happily continue to sell the restricted coins to US customers because I know exactly where all my coins come from, and apart from just a few exceptions the answer is 'not Italy'.



Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: imperialcoins on January 26, 2011, 11:18:54 am
My question to everyone that is concerned about the impact of the latest round
of restrictions- Are you a member of the ACCG?

Unless you are going through financial hardship, there really is no excuse. The
ACCG is the ONLY hope we have of resisting the assault on our avocation. Baring
financial hardship, if you collect ancient coins and are not a member, shame on
you, it is only $35 or $15 for students.

All of us may not care for lawsuits or we may not agree on the details. But in
our lovely bureaucracy we are often forced to take the least direct route from point
A to point B. Also, it is incredibly expensive. Every action taken has been
done in consultation with top notch attorneys.

Please note, 100% of funds received go towards defending our hobby. (Wayne
Sayles, John Lavender or any of the volunteers do not receive a single red cent
for their countless hours of work), the attorneys hired are among the best in
their fields and have given considerable discounts.

So, if you are not a member, you can sign up here:

http://www.accg.us/membership/join.aspx

If you are a member, consider giving a small donation to help with the
considerable legal expenses. Even if it is only $5, that is better than
nothing. I'm sending my own small donation right now...

My 2 cents.

Alfred




Title: Re: Time to Speak Out
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on January 27, 2011, 01:33:01 pm
There's a conundrum Robert. Europe is unaffected. So where is the incentive for Europeans (and specifically Italians who have a say in their government) to do anything about it?

They're affected, firstly, by looting of archaeological sites. Coins have been included in this by bureaucrats with no knowledge of archaeology, and by archaeologists with ideological views similar to those of Barford, which I think many of us are familiar with. We're not professionals, so we have no business near antiquities.

Secondly, they're affected by the loss of information caused by the inability of the said professionals to work with amateurs such as detectorists. This is ludicrous when amateurs have contributed, and continue to contribute, to many areas of science, especially those where fieldwork plays a predominant part. They can't argue that such collaboration is impossible, because we're making it work here in the UK, and have done over many years. If detecting was illegal, the Staffordshire Hoard, and many other finds, would either never have turned up, or would have disappeared into the black market. Similar losses of data will be occurring in every country which fails in this area.

When it comes to the repatriation of antiquities, there's an excellent case for items of significant interest, and I totally support their return, or bans on their export. Before someone raises the question, I've long believed that the Elgin Marbles should go back to Greece. It's much harder to see that there's any case for the return of coins minted by the tens of thousands. There's nothing unique about them, unless it's something like the Ashmolean's Domitianus, and they should be available for study to the international community. Experts, both amateur and professional, from all round the world, contribute to research in this area. Destroying the trade in ancient coins would seriously limit the amount of study which would take place, impoverishing everyone.