Classical Numismatics Discussion
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Please look at the RECENT ADDITIONS and PRICE REDUCTIONS at the top and bottom of the page. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Thanks for supporting Forum with your PURCHASES! Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Point your mouse to a coin in RECENT ADDITIONS or PRICE REDUCTIONS on this page to see the the price. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Thanks for supporting Forum with your PURCHASES!


FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Ancient Coin Forum (Moderator: goldenancients)  |  Topic: 2 coins of Cabinet W seized in New York by District Attorney 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 Go Down Print
Author Topic: 2 coins of Cabinet W seized in New York by District Attorney  (Read 34909 times)
byzcoll
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 606


« on: January 04, 2012, 07:30:22 am »

Hi,

this morning (4-JAN-2012), just hours before the auction (Triton XV, lots 1001-2000), the New York district attorney entered the CNG showroom and seized two coins of the Cabinet W collection. No reasons whatsoever were given by the attorney, they just took the coins.

Both coins are masterpieces from Sicily: Lot 1008, a Dekadrachm (Akragas) with a start price of $2.5 million and Lot 1009, a Tetradrachm (Katane) with a start price of $ 300,000.

This is quite a thing and we as collectors should follow the news about what is going on there.

byzcoll
Logged
Kained but Able
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 691



« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2012, 09:21:47 am »

How intriguing. The coins can be seen in the electronic brochure, here -

http://www.cngcoins.com/About+Affiliated+Auctions.aspx

That Dekadrachm really is astounding and it gives details as to its providence, there doesn't seem to be anything chequered in either coins' history but who knows.

T
Logged

Kained but Able
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 691



« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2012, 09:28:59 am »

British Newspaper story on the coin in question (below)....

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070476/Ancient-Greek-coin-valued-cool-2MILLION-set-auction.html
Logged

bpmurphy
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1296


« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 12:49:10 pm »

Actually the coins were seized yesterday afternoon, not this morning and it was the NY DA and Homeland Security who seized the coins. No excuses were given. I was in the hall outside the viewing room when they showed up.

Just speculation but I'd guess that the Italian government saw the coins in the sale and has decided to make a claim that they had title to the coins.

Unfortunately in these cases, the Italian government is not required to show proof of ownership, but the current owners will be required to show provenance and proof of ownership. So the current owners are guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around as it should be.

Barry Murphy
Logged
byzcoll
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 606


« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 01:53:40 pm »

Dear Barry,

I mixed up the time of confiscation and the time I heard the anouncement of the auctioneer prior to the opening of the session.

Your thoughts make very much sense: The two confiscated coins are the only two in the Cabinet W from a mint on current Italian territory, which have a purely private pedigree, never channeled through an auction house. The Deka is declared to have been "in an English collection in London in the 1960s".

byzcoll

Logged
byzcoll
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 606


« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2012, 03:42:59 am »

Hi,

I just found, that this thread is called "some insubstantial chat on some coin discussion lists" by a blogger (http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/). However, most of the blogger's text consists of a copy and paste of my starting post.

It is really funny how some people judge on others and how they act at the same time. Makes me smile.

byzcoll
Logged
4to2CentBCphilia
Guest
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 07:12:23 am »

Regarding anonymous collections, the Financial Times did some digging.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/beed860e-2cb4-11e1-8cca-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1igeQVHJw

Cabinet W is Dr Peter Weiss USA

This may have been in the catalog, but the catalog has been pulled off the CNG website, so I can't check.

I am guessing it is the same Peter Weiss noted here

http://numismatics.org/About/2011Nominations
Logged
Andrew McCabe
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4766



WWW
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 07:28:16 am »

Regarding anonymous collections, the Financial Times did some digging.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/beed860e-2cb4-11e1-8cca-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1igeQVHJw

Cabinet W is Dr Peter Weiss USA

This may have been in the catalog, but the catalog has been pulled off the CNG website, so I can't check.

I am guessing it is the same Peter Weiss noted here

http://numismatics.org/About/2011Nominations

4to2CentBCphilia

Would you mind posting the text of the FT article. It is behind a pay-firewall for me (and presumably for others too) and I can't view the article.

Andrew
Logged

4to2CentBCphilia
Guest
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 07:37:58 am »

Regarding anonymous collections, the Financial Times did some digging.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/beed860e-2cb4-11e1-8cca-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1igeQVHJw

Cabinet W is Dr Peter Weiss USA

This may have been in the catalog, but the catalog has been pulled off the CNG website, so I can't check.

I am guessing it is the same Peter Weiss noted here

http://numismatics.org/About/2011Nominations

4to2CentBCphilia

Would you mind posting the text of the FT article. It is behind a pay-firewall for me (and presumably for others too) and I can't view the article.

Andrew


Here you go. BTW I got to it thru Google

 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/beed860e-2cb4-11e1-8cca-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1igmEkvvu


Greek coin lot set to fetch millions
By Susan Moore
While investors across the globe are preoccupied by the fate of Greece’s currency, a British collection of just a few hundred Greek coins is predicted to fetch millions of dollars when auctioned next month in New York.

Described by Paul Hill of Baldwin’s, the London coin dealer, as “the most important collection of ancient Greek coins to appear on the market in almost a quarter of a century”, the 642-piece Prospero Collection will go under the hammer on January 4.

Arguably the rarest and most spectacular coin in the collection is the facing head gold stater of Pantikapaion, a colony on the Black Sea. An example has not been seen at auction in living memory, and the coin bears a conservative estimate of $650,000.

Struck in the 4th century BC, the coin depicts a satyr or wild man of the woods, wide-eyed and dishevelled; on the reverse is a griffin standing on an ear of grain – a symbol of the city’s wealth.

The collection is one of several due to be auctioned at the New York International Numismatic Convention between December 31 and January 9. Kevin Foley, the convention’s chairman, said there was “a realistic chance” that its nine participating auction houses staging 16 sessions of sales would realise $100m.

The week’s star lot is a masterpiece of late 5th century Greek art, the so-called “dekadrachm of Akragas”. Produced in Sicily, the coin appears to celebrate the victory of Exainetos, a citizen of Akragas, who won the chariot race of Olympia in 412BC.

Only 12 such coins are known and this example has a starting bid of $2.5m.

“There have never been so many top quality ancient coins on the market,” said Tom Eden, of London auctioneers Eden & Morton. “It is a sign that the market is very strong.”

The dekadrachm of Akragas is from the “Selections from Cabinet W”, a group of 18 Greek coins belonging to Dr Peter Weiss, a US collector. It will also be sold on January 4.

While Baldwin’s declined to reveal the identity of the Prospero Collection’s owner, it is known in numismatic circles to have been begun by Colonel Richard Seifert, the late architect of London’s controversial Centre Point skyscraper and Tower 42.

After inheriting the collection Col Seifert’s son, John, sold its English coins and focused on those of ancient Greece and its colonies, a coinage unsurpassed in the beauty and artistry of its manufacture.
Logged
Andrew McCabe
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4766



WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 08:04:08 am »

Thank you. This is apparently a pre-seizure article (so to speak). It will be curious to see post-seizure articles as they are published.
Logged

byzcoll
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 606


« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 12:12:59 pm »

I quietly assumed that P. Weiss is an elderly collector, but my assumption has been completely wrong:

http://www.universityorthopedics.com/doctor.asp?id=26

byzcoll
Logged
byzcoll
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 606


« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2012, 04:27:25 pm »

Hi,

there may be several possibilities. One is that in such cases goods can be seized on the basis of a civil case, where the attorney may show a warrant but no cause. On the evidence a criminal case can be built after the fact. Alternatively, the goods can be seized directly in a criminal case.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are even more possibilities because of very special legislation:

http://www.coinworld.com/articles/accg-loses-test-case-involving-coin-imports/

This basically says, that coins can be seized under presidential order, authorized by congress. If customs does not follow the correct procedures, there is not much one can do, because there is no court which can be appealed to. Thus one has very limited rights here. "Judge Blake cited Sayles’ failure to exhaust administrative remedies through the Department of Homeland Security as the reason." Thus, one has to go through all possible procedures in the bureaucracy and outside of the court and hope for the best.
This also means that such MOUs make it virtually impossible to import coins to the USA, which fall under a MOU, but have been legally and rightfully bought on the open market outside of the country of the MOU.

byzcoll
Logged
GMoneti
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 172



« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2012, 02:34:23 pm »

New article about this case came out today at Coin World:

http://www.coinworld.com/articles/officials-seize-two-ancient-coins-at-nyinc/

Reasons for seizures unclear

But exactly who seized the coins, and why they targeted Weiss (who is a partner in Nomos AG), is unclear. Despite multiple telephone calls to law enforcement agencies in the New York City area, Coin World has been unable to confirm the identities of the authorities making the seizures and detaining Weiss.

Alan Walker, director of Nomos, said: “All the coins are in the U.S. legally. All of the coins left Europe legally. It was all handled 100 percent by the law, as far as we know.”

Later, Walker added, “He [Weiss] has very good legal counsel and is 100 percent innocent.”

Dr. Weiss is a world renowned hand surgeon, a professor of orthopedics at Brown University School of Medicine and Rhode Island Hospital, both in Providence, R.I.

He is also a trustee of the American Numismatic Society.

Victor England Jr., senior director of CNG, confirmed that several officials who identified themselves as representatives of the Department of Homeland Security and the New York County District Attorney’s Office entered the lot viewing room while CNG was conducting other auction sessions and escorted Weiss out, and at the same time seized the two lots.

Tracy Goldman, spokeswoman for New York County District Attorney (Manhattan) Cyrus R. Vance Jr., told Coin World Jan. 6 that the office does not comment on cases, and would not confirm or deny England’s statement.


As mentioned, nobody has given an official explanation yet, so it's hard to judge at this point, however the reality of law enforcement (DHS even) marching in and seizing ancient coins and arresting people seems more akin to what has been going on in many "source" countries, but it would've seem far-fetched in the US, even a few years ago.  Times are changing I suppose.
Logged

Georgi
Mat
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1152


Ancient Coin Addict


« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 04:30:31 pm »

Looks like he knew it was looted.

http://chasingaphrodite.com/2012/01/11/exclusive-nyc-da-says-prominent-surgeon-knew-he-was-selling-looted-coin/
Logged

MY GALLERY

MJB Ancients
ancientdave
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 918



« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 07:20:25 pm »

If this report is true, and that's a big IF, what a terrible blow this will be to our cause. If we are unfairly tarnished here by greed, arrogance and lack of diligence by an elite few, I for one am going to be pretty upset. If this report is untrue, boy that is one arrogant D.A. and some serious gun jumping by DHS. Either way, this whole thing is just depressing. I fear this could be the catalyst for the typical knee-jerk human minds of the masses, which we have been working hard to educate, for condemning us all en masse. Nuance is a tough sell, and it may have just gotten a hell of alot tougher.  Sad
Logged

Andrew McCabe
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4766



WWW
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2012, 07:34:39 am »

Hi,

so someone has made the original complaint of the DA public. Such documents are actually confidential, and this may cause a problem for the guy, who has posted it in the internet under his real name (Jason Felch, chasingaphrodite.com).

I have the impression that the following is a public document: it looks like a statement made to court.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/283116-nyc-vs-weiss.html

I see no confidentiality restriction on it. Even if it is intended as confidential, given that Jason Felch "is an award-winning investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times" I doubt he is the slightest bit concerned. Writing such exposes is routine for an investigative journalist. If they could protect themselves from Richard Nixon I doubt they are worried about the numismatic community.

Felch's book, Chasing Aphrodite, is terrific by the way, and well balanced. It uncovers a trail of blatent criminality involving mainly the Met and the Getty. Many people went to prison, negotiated plea bargains, were sued in civil courts, and spent years upon years in Italian courts, and countless stolen and looted objects were returned. Those affected included senior representives of the museums, auction houses and antiquities trade, as well as middle-men and excavators. It was the actual criminal behaviour of these museum-gods that led to all the problems with those pesky MOUs today - nothing to do with innocent collecting of low value coins by the mass of collectors. A reason the focus is so much on the US is that European museums almost entirely said "no thanks" to the same pieces that the Met and Getty said "yes please" to.

As noted before on this thread, despite the above document we don't yet know both sides of the Weiss story. All may well in the end have been done above board and legally.
Logged

Dino
Procurator Caesaris
Quaestor
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1513


Anyone have change for a hemidrachm?


WWW
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2012, 08:37:23 am »

Hi,

so someone has made the original complaint of the DA public. Such documents are actually confidential, and this may cause a problem for the guy, who has posted it in the internet under his real name (Jason Felch, chasingaphrodite.com).

I have the impression that the following is a public document: it looks like a statement made to court.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/283116-nyc-vs-weiss.html


Unless sealed by the court, once the criminal complaint is filed and the defendant arrested, then the document is part of the public record.

Relevant excerpts:

Quote
Investigator John Freck, shield 178 of the New York County District Attorney's Office, states as follows:

***

the defendant knowingly possessed stolen property with a value in excess of 50,000 dollars with intent to benefit a person than an owner of the property and to impede recovery by an owner thereof. The offenses were committed under the following circumstances: Deponent states that at the date, time, and place of occurrence, deponent observed defendant in possession of a 4th century BC silver coin, called a Tetradrachm. Deponent also observed that the defendant was attempting to sell the same for approximately $300,000 under catalogue number 1009 in an auction defendant was conducting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

***

Deponent is informed by a confidential informant whose identity is known to the District Attorney's Office that the defendant told this informant that for coin 1009, "there's no paperwork, I know this is a fresh coin, this was dug up a few years ago...This was dug up two years ago. I know where this came from." Deponent also listened to a recording of this conversation. Deponent is also informed by the defendant himself that the defendant knew that coin 1009 was "freshly dug" and that, therefore, it had to be the property of the Italian government. Deponent is also informed by defendant himself that defendant purchased the coin in approximately 2010 and had been out of the ground less than a year and that he had purchased it for $250,000 and was expecting to sell it for approximately $350,000.

Three key points.  According to the affidavit which is the sworn testimony of an officer:

1.  An informant (who the officer knew) told the officer that Weiss said it was recently "dug";

2.  The officer listened to a recording of the conversation, and;

3.  Weiss himself allegedly told the officer that he bought the coin in 2010 knowing that it had been out of the ground less than a year.

That's pretty damning evidence.  Two separate eyewitness accounts and a tape recording.

No officer in his right mind would allege he had a tape recording if he didn't.
Logged

bpmurphy
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1296


« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2012, 09:45:12 am »

Assuming the recorded conversations are quoted in full in the complaint, Mr. Weiss never says he knew the coin came from Italy or any other place specifically, only that it doesn't have a long pedigree. It could have been recently dug someplace where it was legal to export it. Maybe export papers exist, maybe not. It would seem to me that for Italy to be able to claim title they would have to have some evidence that the coin came from Italy, a fact never mentioned in the complaint.

Maybe there's more to this story than stated in the complaing, maybe not.

I'm not up to date on stolen property laws, but if Mr. Weiss bought the coin in good faith, other than perhaps having to forfeit the coin, I wonder if he can be held criminally liable?

One aparently ovelooked comment in this complaint, at least not discussed here, is the fact that Italy is claiming title to anything that may have come out of Italy since 1909. This has nothing to do with the recent Mou's. This was an expensive coin so it brought a lot of attention on itself. Can we forsee a time in the near future where Italy starts to claim everything that may have come out of Italy that doesn't have a pre-1909 pedigree?


Barry Murphy
Logged
mwilson603
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1252


« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2012, 12:48:34 pm »

Assuming the recorded conversations are quoted in full in the complaint, Mr. Weiss never says he knew the coin came from Italy or any other place specifically, only that it doesn't have a long pedigree. It could have been recently dug someplace where it was legal to export it. Maybe export papers exist, maybe not. It would seem to me that for Italy to be able to claim title they would have to have some evidence that the coin came from Italy, a fact never mentioned in the complaint.

Maybe there's more to this story than stated in the complaing, maybe not.

I'm not up to date on stolen property laws, but if Mr. Weiss bought the coin in good faith, other than perhaps having to forfeit the coin, I wonder if he can be held criminally liable?

One aparently ovelooked comment in this complaint, at least not discussed here, is the fact that Italy is claiming title to anything that may have come out of Italy since 1909. This has nothing to do with the recent Mou's. This was an expensive coin so it brought a lot of attention on itself. Can we forsee a time in the near future where Italy starts to claim everything that may have come out of Italy that doesn't have a pre-1909 pedigree?


Barry Murphy

I might be missing something here, but in the original report we read
"According to a criminal complaint filed with the NYC District Attorney’s office, Weiss was secretly recorded telling a confidential informant that he knew one of the coins he was selling had been recently looted: “There’s no paperwork, I know this is a fresh coin, this was dug up a few years ago,” the complaint quotes Weiss telling the informant. “This was dug up two years ago. I know where this came from.”"
It also stated
"Weiss also allegedly told DA investigator John Freck that he knew the coin had been recently looted and belonged to the government of Italy, the complaint alleges."
So given that I am a little confused as to your points about Dr Weiss Barry.  If Dr Weiss knew it was freshly looted, and belonged to the Italian government, how could he possibly have bought it in good faith?  And it is also fairly clear as to why the Italian Government got involved as well surely?
Or as I say, am I missing something?
regards
Mark
P.S. I agree totally with your point over the 1909 date.
Logged
bpmurphy
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1296


« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2012, 08:48:05 pm »

Mark,

In the complaint nothing mentioning Italy or looted (that word isn't in the complaint anywhere) is in quotes so it doesn't appear that's what Mr Weiss said. Where are you getting the quotes from Mr Weiss that mention anything about Italy? The only part of the complaint mentioning Italy is the next to last paragraph and it's not in quotes so it wasn't something mr Weiss said. He said the freshly dug part, the "property of Italy" part is not in quotes and was inserted by the prosecutor who is assuming if it's an Italian coin and recently dug it must belong to the Italians.

This complaint is incomplete. There's probably much more that we don't know. But based on this complaint alone I don't see enough evidence to prove a case. I wonder why the dekadrachm which they also seized isn't part of the complaint?

I don't know where the coin came from. If it came from Italy and it was recently dug then Italy probably has a case, specially if Mr Weiss did indeed say that. On the other hand if  Mr Weiss knows is that it was recently dug and came from somewhere else, then I guess he will have to prove it came from somewhere besides Italy.

Interestingly there was some discussion prior to the show that both coins may actually be fake. That would add another twist to the entire story. What if these are high quality Sicilian fakes, not actually dug but made, and exported out of Italy.

Barry
Logged
bpmurphy
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1296


« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2012, 01:52:45 am »

The questions of authenticity were not with mr Weiss or nomos or Cng. It was s few other people who had viewed the coins and had some doubts. Nothing provable just gut feelings. I'm sure the parties involved with the sale of the coins believe them to be authentic.

Barry Murphy
Logged
byzcoll
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 606


« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2012, 11:45:21 am »

There is a new article on the topic written by Mark Fox, see http://www.numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ad=article&ArticleId=24602

It gives a good overview on what is going on. The last paragraph refers to the McClain doctrine:

"Under the McClain doctrine, as confirmed by the Schultz decision and upheld by three U.S. District Courts of Appeal, any object that is covered by a source country national patrimony law (such as the 1909/1939 Italian laws) and can be proven to have been imported into the U.S. without an export certificate is considered stolen property under U.S. law, and anyone who knowingly trades in such objects is subject to prosecution."

I wonder how far this doctrine can be stretched, because almost every Roman item could be claimed by Italy under this doctrine, even if it has been excavated in France.

On the other hand it would be interesting to see what happens if a number of renowned experts would declare the seized coins to be fake. Do they have to be given back to Weiss in this instance?

byzcoll
Logged
Congius
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1600



« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2012, 01:51:44 pm »

What I'd really like to know about this, other than the reality of the provenance, is why the DHS was involved and why the expensive deka was seized in addition to the coin actually mentioned in the dispute! It's a serious enough alleged crime, but this seems a bit heavy handed (maybe illegal, even?) to say the least. Is an allegedly illegally exported Italian coin really a matter of US homeland security?!

Ben
Logged
dafnis
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 223


ad astra per aspera.


WWW
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2012, 02:28:36 pm »

I wonder how far this doctrine can be stretched, because almost every Roman item could be claimed by Italy under this doctrine, even if it has been excavated in France.

That could prove dangerous. Let's take silver, for example. Not all silver is the same and chemical analysis can prove provenance to local mines.
As for that, then Spain, for example, could claim a large amount of those coins since it was coined with Spanish silver.
And the old Spanish Empire countries could claim all the Spanish coins minted in the colonies with their precious metals.
It's a lose-lose game.

As for this particular story, my own bottom-line is that we'd need to worry if we have coins over $250,000... still, I am not in favour of the spirit, nor the letter of the current MOUs. That is not the way to preserv historical grounds nor to prevent looting.
Logged

Congius
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1600



« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2012, 04:16:12 pm »

"Under the McClain doctrine, as confirmed by the Schultz decision and upheld by three U.S. District Courts of Appeal, any object that is covered by a source country national patrimony law (such as the 1909/1939 Italian laws) and can be proven to have been imported into the U.S. without an export certificate is considered stolen property under U.S. law, and anyone who knowingly trades in such objects is subject to prosecution."

Hopefully they are talking about an export certificate from the "source" country here (i.e. the country claiming patrimony over such objects found on it's own soil), and therefore about coins that they can prove were exported from the source country in the first place.

Ben
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 Go Up Print 
FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Ancient Coin Forum (Moderator: goldenancients)  |  Topic: 2 coins of Cabinet W seized in New York by District Attorney « previous next »
Jump to:  

Recent Price Reductions in Forum's Shop


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 7.606 seconds with 71 queries.