Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Coiney Prays for Change

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A contribution to the Numismaica-L coiney discussion forum gives an insight into the workings of a coiney mind. Greg Rehme from Missouri (St Louis area) says:
Germany and France are trying to clean up Greece's mess of over spending and over borrowing now. Maybe the EC will force Greece and other EC States to cut these culture guys from the payroll. We can only pray.
So over in the US Mr Rehme is not one of those collectors who claims they are passionately "interested" and "concerned" about history and culture. All he wants is the cultural heritage preservation systems of what he calls "EC states" to be abolished so he and his fellow collectors can get their hands on lots of the stuff (he seems from the Uncleaned coin list to be a "coin zapper"). Mr Rehme's knowledge of "Yurope" seems to largely be based on an incomplete stereotype and he seems not to have noticed the passing of the Treaty of Lisbon, under which the "EC" became the European Union.

It may have escaped the notice of people like Mr Rehme that the culture of Greece has a more general aspect than whether or not he, personally, can buy packs of unsorted uncleaned coins in Missouri by the kilogramme as though they were potatoes. Greek music, literature, theatre, film and dance are an integral part of European and world culture, and removing institutional (and with that financial) support in answer to the self-centred prayers of US collectors like him would have tragic consequences for us all. That is why, here in Europe we have for example the 1954 European Cultural Convention. Has the USA such a document supporting "US culture"? If it has, I am sure many over here will be "praying" that whatever culture the people of America have is adequately preserved, supported, given facilities for development and properly appreciated by its citizens.

So how many other US collectors think that "Yurope" would be better off without cultural preservation?

UPDATE 7.12.11: A "reply" from coiney discussion list moderator (I use the term loosely). He considers as some form of harassment a European commenting on a heritage blog about a truly philistine US opinion on the value of culture to European society ("one of them finally had much more than enough of that, and brusquely blew him away. Hmm ... a word to the wise perhaps?")

What is the cause of the underlying thread of violence in antiquity collecting? UK metal detectorists threaten people's families and homes for discussing metal detector use, coin dealers use violent metaphors throughout their comments on the workings of the market, a pastor threatens to blow away anyone who comes near his coins, a metal detectorist threatens setting fire to a rival's car and so on. What problems do these people have, and are they using the collecting of ancient artefacts as a route to escape from them?

Vignette: a gun in an angry man's hands.

1 comment:

heritageaction said...

That's so awful. You forgot to mention "Big Mick" the metal detectorist who told us "we know where you live".

You ask "What is the cause of the underlying thread of violence in antiquity collecting?". Well that can perhaps be established. I'm going to make a threats list and publish it. I have a working hypothesis that it will show that nearly all threats and indeed almost all of the noise comes from those that stand to lose a great deal financially from a move towards either ethical detecting or ethical collecting.

 
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