With reference to my earlier polemic text "Focus on CCPIA: "Protrection of Cutural Heritage Treasures - Please stop it", which ended up being posted by someone to the Museum Security Network for discussion, I suppose I should respond to coin-dealer's-lobbyist Peter Tompa who sent a complaint to MSN List writing:
It is troubling that the Museum Security Network would republish Mr. Barford's efforts to ridicule American citizens and others who have responded to the US State Department's invitation to provide public comments regarding the proposed renewal of the Cypriot renewal. These individuals deserve far more respect than either Mr. Barford or the Museum Security Network have provided them. Shame on them both. Peter TompaThis is what in a rather blunt, continental manner, Ton Cremers replied:
Very sensitive Mr Tompa. First you need to understand that the MSN or it's moderators are by no means responsible for the contents of messages to the list. All we do is scan whether the contents of messages is relevant to the subject matters of this list. You have several options in case you do not agree with the contents: 1. write an argued reply based on the contents of the message that you disagree with; 2. ignore it. Blaming MSN or just complaining that 'American citizens' are ridiculed in my view is not an option, but rather displaying lack of adequate arguments. TCLack of adequate arguments is the coineys' stock-in-trade. If what was sent as a PUBLIC comment to be published on the Internet is 'ridiculed' here, it is not because it was written by an American citizen, but because in the context of the discussion it is ridiculous. It is ridiculous that in a public discussion of how America can best help the international community protect the cultural heritage almost the only response is from a group of several hundred people (yes, probably mostly American citizens) who stubbornly hold out for the importation of items which they want to buy without documentation of lawful export. These people are however not in the least bit interested in learning what the CCPIA actually says, they obviously for the most part (I'm talking about the naysayers here) have not the foggiest what it actually says, and - as I showed - what it actually regulates. They quite obviously have not the slightest intention of helping preserve the heritage, but have a great (self-) interest in getting their hands on as much of the little bits of it they can for themselves.
The whole bunch of the hardcore naysayers from the ACCG stable deserve far more than pointing out where what they say is ridiculous, it would be useful if the US authorities would keep an eye on these people, what they're buying from where and whom. The results would probably be most illuminating.
As for showing these naysayers "respect" for their views, my general impression is that many of them are not exactly approaching the task of writing to a Presidential Advisory body with any respect either for it, or the facts of the matter in hand. They have not shown the CPAC the respect of checking what the CCPIA actually says, what the Cyprus designated list and MOU actually contain (beyond the fact its got "coins" in it) or what they do. Neither have they shown the respect in identifying the four criteria which are laid down by law (the CCPIA) as being the ONLY ones the CPAC has a mandate to consider and offer an opinion on. Neither have they shown the respect required when offering alternative suggestions (the "British Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme") of having found out what those two separate institutions do and do not do, vis-a-vis the CPIA.
I therefore make no apologies, American citizens or not, for commenting on the rather pathetic and self-serving efforts of US coineys (at the bidding of dealers' lobbyists) to get their hands on a continual flow of coins without documentation of lawful export. That is in a country which became (nominally it seems) a state party of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.
Ha! Peter Tompa reckons there should be a "Christmas truce" of some kind for naysaying coineys ("No Christmas Truce"). He writes:
Evidently, there is an element within the archaeological community that thinks it is entirely appropriate to ridicule American citizens and others who have responded to the US State Department's invitation to comment on the proposed renewal of the Cypriot MOU. See http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/2011/12/these-people-are-americans-so-you.html Shame on them and their efforts to suppress any public opinion against the "archaeology over all" perspective. And shame on the other archaeological blogs that link to them and hence promote their views.Wait, wait, wait, in what way is disagreeing with something, presenting a different point of view in reply, "SUPPRESSING" any public opinion? Is this not a discussion which should be as widely publicised as possible, or would Mr T. prefer it - for obvious reasons - to be "just between the coineys"?
Well, this is the season of goodwill and all that, so anyone whose "Cyprus MOU renewal" public comment was commented upon here who feels they have something to add is free to post their own comment on my blog under the original post (or here) explaining why I am wrong in what I say - but please read the CCPIA and the MOU (and designated list) carefully first. That goes for any future posts on that topic right through until 3rd January.
Vignette: culture? George Washington as a planter (Made in America)