Faxes from 597 discrete addresses opposing import restrictions on ancient coins from Italy have been logged through the ACCG Fax Wizard as of 12:01 AM CST, Tuesday April 13. This log will be updated periodically.I rember that it stood at 149 on Sunday afternoon.
One question, considering that faxes could also have been sent through this facility by people who do not oppose import restrictions on ancient coins from Italy, how do the ACCG know how many faxes are against and how many are for? Does the ACCG have a filter which divides them into two groups, and if so, what happens to the other group? Does this text indicate that the faxes sent through the ACG "faxwizard' are somehow censored or otherwise examined by the ACCG, or is this just an arrogant assumption that all who write to the CPAC are in favour of an export free-for-all in Italy's dugup antiquities? The AIA is more dignified, they are not counting it seems.
I think the ACCG should produce a bilingual text for this counter, the second should be in Italian. Let the Italian people see how much this group of US citizens values and respects Italy's heritage. Let Italians ask themselves why they are doing this to them.
Not so long ago the US were getting huge amounts of international flak about the looting of archaeological sites in Iraq following the ill-starred US-led invasion of 2003. Who then sent a group of specially trained carabinieri to help make it look as if the coalition was actually doing something to stop it? It was Italy (see here, here, and also Lawrence Rothfield (ed.):"Antiquities under siege : cultural heritage protection after the Iraq war"). The US did little more in the field it seems than reportedly send a Marine chaplain to 'interact' with the Moslems on the topic. Brilliant choice. Anyway as we have seen the same ACCG activists have bee in constant denial that there was any such looting and anyway "none of the artefacts were getting to the US", both of which are claims I examine in a number of earlier posts in this blog and find false.
Italy stood side by side with the US in their war on Saddam's Iraq, in particular the dedication of Italian cultural property protection specialists should be more fully recognised. The US has already been embarrassed enough by the material which was looted frtom Italian soi;l that somehow managed to get through US customs to the showcases of its biggest museums. Now Italy is asking for a little help regulating the disappearance of its cultural heritage abroad,and a group of US cizens is saying "No!". I think the italians deserve an explanation. In Italian. It seems only right and proper.