What however is astounding (yes, I mean that) is a comment underneath Tompa's post made by US coin collector Voz Earl two days ago.
I think the constant emphasis of some on UK export licenses is misguided. Aren't we really talking about mere red tape here? The idea that someone will go through the trouble to get an export license every time he sends a low-value coin overseas is rather unrealistic. As far as legal infractions go it's aboutYes, that is right, that is what he said. Somewhat missing the point and displaying complete ignorance of the purpose of the export licence process. But then quite typical if the ACCG is busily telling its members that such laws are "bad laws" imposed by "nationalist governments".
as heinous as jaywalking or breaking the speed limit. If a coin and its context have been recorded in the PAS database, an export license does not add any further knowledge of use to archaeologists or numismatists.
So what was the reply of the Washington lawyer? We are still waiting. Stuck for words, Mr Tompa? Let me help you, lex dura sed lex.
If one is going to collect antiquities from other countries, at least have the decency to abide by their laws in doing so. That goes for items originating from excavations in the UK as well as items coming from Cyprus and China. Or to put it another way, why advocate obeying the export laws with regard items from Britain (as I hope Mr Tompa would) but ignoring those concerning objects from Cyprus and China (which the ACCG is currently advocating and indeed actually deliberately did at Baltimore airport in April).
Mr Earl’s comment does not violate the Code of Ethics of the ACCG which only talks of the laws in the BUYER’s own country, so this collector who sees no point in export licences even from the UK runs no risk of being drummed out of the Ancient Coin Collectors’ Guild for expressing such sentiments. Nevertheless that then raises the question of whether this is the kind of collector that the ACCG is representing.
A statement by the former President of the ACCG would, I think, be appreciated - not least by all those "Friends of US numismatists" in the UK. Would Mr Tompa advise collectors to respect the UK export licence procedure with regard archaeological finds or ignore it I wonder?