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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 56913 times)
imperialcoins
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« 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
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« Reply #1 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
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« Reply #2 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
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« Reply #3 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.
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« Reply #4 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
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« Reply #5 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.
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« Reply #6 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.
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2010, 06:54:51 am »

Ive just sent off my fax. Thank you Wayne and ACCG.

Jim
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« Reply #8 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
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« Reply #9 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.
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« Reply #10 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
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« Reply #11 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.
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« Reply #12 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.





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« Reply #13 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.
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« Reply #14 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. 
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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2010, 03:12:39 am »

Fax, and a small donation, sent today  Smiley

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« Reply #16 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. 
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« Reply #17 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
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« Reply #18 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. 
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« Reply #19 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.
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2010, 05:29:28 pm »

Fax, and a small donation, sent today  Smiley

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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...
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« Reply #21 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





   



 
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« Reply #22 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.
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« Reply #23 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
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« Reply #24 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. 
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