This affirmation of a group of citizens of the US of their “right” to spit in the face of the international community is of course treated by the US collectors’ and dealers’ lobby as a great “victory”. Does the Badger State, Wisconsin not have any of its own cultural heritage worth preserving that some of its citizens feel the need to grab little pieces of everybody else’s instead? Shame on those who passed such a scandalous resolution showing such a woeful grasp on the issues involved and so little regard for the protection of the cultural heritage. Heaven help the cultural heritage of Wisconsin state if the individuals who passed this resolution should ever gain power over it.
“The Republican Party of Wisconsin, in convention assembled, asks lawmakers to pass a bill exempting art, books, coins, militaria, pottery, stamps, weapons and other common antique collectibles for consideration from future import restriction and cultural property laws and treaties.”
Full text here.
So who was behind this? It is unlikely to come as any surprise to learn that once again, it was the US ancient coin collectors’ lobbyists, who else? The ACCG through its representative Jim McGarigle apparently arranged this so-called “Collectors Rights Resolution” (sic) with Republican politicians Congressmen Mark Green, Tom Petri and Paul Ryan. For their efforts these three gentlemen received the ACCG “Friend of Numismatics award” in 2006. It is worth noting that in addition to supporting this scandalous resolution, all three of them opposed, apparently also on behalf of coin collectors, HR-915 which, if successful, would have imposed import restrictions on various ancient coins of Afghan origin. Coin collectors however are happy that this never became law and they are free to purchase the many choice coins apparently from this “crossroads of civilization” which now relatively frequently appear on the US markets after the American invasion.
I wonder what Green, Petrie and Ryan think export licences are for? Would they support the abolishment of export controls from their own country? With some important elections coming up soon over there, it might be an opportunity to hear the candidates' opinions on these matters.