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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Ancient Coin Forum (Moderator: goldenancients)  |  Topic: Time to Speak Out 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Time to Speak Out  (Read 56909 times)
Robert_Brenchley
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« Reply #75 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.
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« Reply #76 on: April 17, 2010, 04:05:40 pm »

I just sent a fax of my own.
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Bud Stewart
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« Reply #77 on: April 18, 2010, 09:45:52 am »

I just posted Joe's e-mail, including a link to ACCG, on my 'Facebook'.
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goldenancients
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« Reply #78 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.
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goldenancients
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« Reply #79 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.
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Aarmale
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« Reply #80 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. Wink

I strongly hope this restriction does not happen.

I know I would be enraged if coins were not allowed out of Israel.
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היינו דאמרי אינשי: טבא חדא פלפלתא חריפתא ממלי צני קרי
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« Reply #81 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.
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היינו דאמרי אינשי: טבא חדא פלפלתא חריפתא ממלי צני קרי
Rupert
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« Reply #82 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
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« Reply #83 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
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« Reply #84 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.
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« Reply #85 on: April 19, 2010, 03:17:45 pm »

Rich Italian heritage..................they have been selling it off for years and no amount of bafflegab MOU's will stop it.   I am sure the USPS is really welcoming this as it will be their responsiblity to check everything coming in by mail, or customs to check everyone who comes home from Italy if they have ancient coins mixed in with their regular coins at the security posts.  Because if this goes through I wonder how many other countries will do the same?  Egypt would be a prime example for one.   Sad
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« Reply #86 on: April 20, 2010, 01:41:40 am »

i may have mis-spoke slightly, and i don't want us to lose focus here.

the basic premise of the MOU is not something i am against, just the reversal of the exemption for coins, and the reasons have been spelled out rather clearly throughout the course of this thread.
i would like to see the looting of archeological sites stopped, and i am for the strict enforcement of international trade in such items. but stopping coin collectors from collecting (and furthering the knowledge in the field) won't do anything to stop these crimes, and the State Dept or the AIA believing it will is pie-in-the-sky thinking, imo. it is, as Wayne Sayles mentioned, an ineffectual knee-jerk reaction designed to show that we (as in the USA) are doing something, however useless, and i've never been one for cheap show over substance.

~ Peter
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« Reply #87 on: April 20, 2010, 06:52:41 am »

Rich Italian heritage..................they have been selling it off for years and no amount of bafflegab MOU's will stop it.   

WHO has been selling it off for years? Not me. No one else legally, for sure. And, by the way, who has been BUYING it? I have been keeping myself from collecting any ancient coins because I live in a place where if you dig a hole in the ground you have almost 100% chance of hitting something ancient, and I know looting IS a problem and I don't want to run the risk of helping it, even unwillingly. If only the Italian government could be convinced that it makes sense to release into the market a huge amount of common, repetitive, out-of-context ancient coins and other artefacts that are currently getting dusty in countless museum cellars, THAT would be a serious blow to illegal trade. But are we sure that EVERYBODY would be happy about that? I don't think the world is black and white, except in the thoughts of some posters here. I really wish you will get the upper hand in this MOU thing, although now, after reading here, I'm not so convinced this would be for the best. I really can't understand what's anti-American in this agreement, considering that the Americans have been signing it for ten years already, and in general I have the feeling that the American government, whatever political color it has, usually does not sell off American interests so easily. On the contrary, I have read several comments here that are quite clearly anti-Italian, so I think I will definitely step back. Good luck.
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« Reply #88 on: April 20, 2010, 08:38:25 am »

So without stirring up a nationalistic battle, as it is obvious feelings are running high, I wonder if someone can explain the following to me.
If this MOU goes ahead, (and I know it only affects the USA at the moment), I have a reasonable collection of Constantine the Great coinage. 
Now Constantine was born in what we now know as Serbia
Most of the coinage I have was minted in London (England), Trier (Germany), Siscia (Croatia), Thessalonica (Greece), Nicomedia (Turkey) and Lyons (France).
So with coinage from a Serbian emperor, and minted in another country, exactly how can Italy lay any kind of claim to those coins?

I suppose that the argument could be that the coin may have been unearthed in Italy and smuggled out of the country.  However, the Roman Empire was vast, and Italian land mass was actually only a small part of that empire.  At a rough guesstimate maybe 20% of the size of the whole empire.  Therefore, surely there is only a 20% chance that the coin was actually found in Italy.  Now obviously population numbers may skew that somewhat, however I can't believe that Italy could claim that more than half the coins found have been found in Italy, regardless of where they were minted.  Surely the balance of probabilities is that most Roman coins are found outside of Italy.

Maybe the argument could be that culturally, any Roman coin is, by definition, Roman and therefore part of Italy's cultural heritage.  As such it should be property of Italy regardless of border changes, or trades that had been performed in the past leading to the coin residing in the coffers of someone in another country.  Well surely that argument is a non-starter.  Us British couldn't lay claim to any artifacts of the founding fathers that may rest in the Smithsonian etc just because they were English, anymore than we could try and claim that historical items still in India are ours because they were made under the British Empire.

Now I do understand how trading in items that can only have come from Italy should be licensed to deter antiquities and artifacts being taken unlawfully.  Although we all know that will never stop looting, as long as someone is willing to buy the items.  However, I am thoroughly confused as to what exactly is the Italian government's argument surrounding the ancient coins part of this MOU, and I would love someone to explain what I am missing.

regards

Mark
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cliff_marsland
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« Reply #89 on: April 21, 2010, 06:59:46 pm »

I sent mine tonight and I managed to be polite.  I just hope we aren't putting ourselves on a sucker list (I realize that's not the intention of the ACCG - any concerns of this would be an unintended consequence), serving our addresses up on a silver platter for these goons to come after us.

However, that would probably be giving them too much credit.  The fax machine was probably turned off or the faxes went into the round file.  I have very little faith in bureaucrats.

I do thank Mr. Sayles and his organization for doing the right thing and making an effort though.  Everyone that participated on the side of right deserve a lot of thanks.
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commodus
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« Reply #90 on: April 22, 2010, 11:00:47 am »

I just hope we aren't putting ourselves on a sucker list serving our addresses up on a silver platter for these goons to come after us.

This thought has crossed my mind more than once, an quite seriously too.
Nevertheless, I voiced my opposition to the amended MOU.
I believe the MOU regarding coins would be virtually unenforceable -- sporadically enforced at best -- but every brick laid in the wall makes the wall higher and stronger and eventually it becomes impossible to penetrate, so -- enforceable or not -- it is vital that this MOU consideration be opposed by us all.
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« Reply #91 on: April 22, 2010, 02:06:45 pm »

Quote from: commodus on April 22, 2010, 11:00:47 am
I just hope we aren't putting ourselves on a sucker list serving our addresses up on a silver platter for these goons to come after us.

This thought has crossed my mind more than once, an quite seriously too.

What a dark, foreboding thought. The advent of the internet has become the information superhighway of revealing too much personal or private information to those who should not see it. Hopefully, as Cliff said,  the bureaucracy of Big Brother would be too much to overcome to form a Gestapo and hunt us all down.

As it is, the US is still a republic. Such paranoia should be reserved for the Imperatorial and Imperial eras. Wink

If WE are successful, this thought is moot anyway.
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Aarmale
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« Reply #92 on: April 22, 2010, 03:33:12 pm »

...And its the 22nd.  Sad
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« Reply #93 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.
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goldenancients
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« Reply #94 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 cultural property implementation act' target='_blank'>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

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Roy P
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« Reply #95 on: May 07, 2010, 11:12:32 am »

Does anyone know when this agreement would be scheduled to take effect? What is the expiration date of the current agreement?
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« Reply #96 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
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goldenancients
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« Reply #97 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
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« Reply #98 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
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Roy P
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« Reply #99 on: May 10, 2010, 08:52:26 am »

It has been several days now since the MOU negotiations. Has anybody heard any results? Is it still safe to ship something from Italy or Europe, or is customs going to confiscate it starting immediately?
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