Coin collector Bill Howden would like to see the United states "stop" its International Cultural Property Protection program, he is concerned about restrictions on the "free flow of collector coins [without documentation of lawful export] from one country to another". He urges the CPAC "Please stop it with the [...] restriction on the free import and export of coins [...]". He says this
"is very detrimental to the exchange of cultural information and experiences and will undermined world efforts for better understanding and appreciaiton of other nations, especially among the young. The free export of coins, a movable object that was often meant to flow internationally, does no harm to traditional protrection of cutural heritage treasures. It is a very different matter".Although the joining-up of the thinking seems to be lacking, the meaning is clear, Howden does not mind people buying dugup coins without documentation of lawful export... Similar sentiments are revealed by another "member of the public" (obviously another coin-fondler):
Renewing this would do nothing but continue to infringe upon my rights as a US citizen. Why are you allowing these people to create MOU's [about the trafficking of artefacts without documentation of lawful export] that don't serve to protect the interests of the US people NOR the people who we are agreeing to have an MOU with? I can bet you that the people of Cyprus DO NOT CARE about ancient coins and other common archeological items. Honestly, this probably doesn't make sense to those making this decision, and I'm tired of typing the same message, so I'll just say that the only decision you should be making is to say NO to this MOU. That is a NO! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!So the Cypriots "do not care" their cultural heritage is being smuggled, and the only one who has "rights" to this material is the US citizen ? That's Edward Beck's point of view. Ekram Barlas is clearly completely uninformed. He is against an MOU extension because he reckons:
Madam/Sir, Restrictions which curtail collecting do not contribute to preserving the related objects. They rather encourage a black market for them.So, a "black market"' would involve the trading of ... well, things like artefacts removed from the country clandestinely without documentation of lawful export. In other words precisely what is regulated by the CCPIA (which the collector surely should be aware contains absolutely no measures to "curtail collecting")
Twelve days into the comment-gathering process, Frank Robinson reveals he too has no idea what the discussion is about ("there are more than enough coins to go around") and thinks refusing entry to the USA of coins without documentation of lawful export is hurting what he calls "honest dealers". That is a new definition of honesty then. [UPDATE: According to coin dealer Dave Welsh it turns out that Frank Robinson is a retired US administrative law judge - so we might have expected him to find out what the CCPIA regulates - which is legal export and not "how many coins" there are available for archaeologists - I wonder if he is pals with Judge Waddoups]. Coin collector Mark McGlone posits that "Such prohibitions [on the movement of material without documentation of lawful export] [...] reduce respect for the law" (among collectors, or dealers, or smugglers, he does not say). Collector "Michael" also thinks there are enough coins to go around.
Sam Spiegel suggests, but fails to justify that "the restriction of the importation of coins from Cyprus [without documentation of lawful export] is not consistent with the general interest of the international community". There are so many coins he says that preventing the smuggling of "the vast majority cannot be considered integral to preserving cultural heritage" because it allows "a wider audience [...] to appreciate them". And a fair number of dealers to make a tidy profit from making them available to collectors who do not really care if they are smuggled or not.
Thomas Brown who collects "private coins" does not want to see coins without documentation of lawful export denied entrance to the US market as this would "limit our trade with Cypriot as well as other foreign dealers". Surely that is exactly the point, to limit the contacts with those in Cyprus and elsewhere selling such material to only those able to supply responsible collectors with coins accompanied by documentation of lawful export. No? Who'd want to enter into business agreements with the other type (in other words, smugglers)? Mr Brown?
I think there would be a very good case for putting people who go online like this to blithely write about defending their "rights" to buy smuggled goods on a watch list, and see what else they are buying abroad and bringing into the country.
Vignette: What kind of trade contacts and practices are the opposers of the CCPIA being asked to defend?