Monday, 2 March 2015

You are a Coiney: How to Write to CPAC

You are a coiney and scared by the alarmist tactics of the IAPN and PNG lobbyist you want to write to the CPAC to tell them not to carry on stopping smuggled antiquities enter the US. But what to say if you've not an original thought in your whole body?
Fortunately there is a handy guide, downloadable from the Coin Collecting for Dummies website. But before you start have a look at the educational video above to remind you what this is about:
Step one: Open the website (look at how many of us there are!)
Step two: Whatever you do, do not try to address the four points of the CCPIA on which the CPAC will deliberate, you'll only make a mess of things. Ignore the fact that the notice reiterates "specifically to the determinations under 19 U.S.C. 2602, pursuant to which the Committee must make findings". This is America and nobody in the Gubn'mint is going to dictate to us what we talk about.
Step three: Open the crib sheet - make sure you know how to operate "copy" and "paste" on your computer (this may be tricky for some, but comes easier after a bit of practice with those mouse-click fingers). Copy and paste this:
"Dear CPAC: Enough is enough. This MOU should be allowed to lapse.

Step four: (Underneath this) copy and paste this:
"Its negative impacts on collecting and the appreciation of Italian culture and people to people contacts collecting brings now far outweigh any benefits".
Step five: (Underneath this) copy and paste this:

At a minimum, please free all ancient coins from restriction. Such coins are openly and legally available for sale worldwide, including within Italy itself. It makes absolutely no sense to continue to restrict American access to what Italians themselves have enjoyed since the Renaissance.
Step five: (Underneath this) copy and paste this:
"Finally, please do not recommend new restrictions on Roman Imperial Coins. As the products of a great empire, these coins circulated throughout Europe, the Middle East and beyond. They belong not to Italy, but to us all".(You can add an exclamation make here if you like). Make sure the CPAC knows what the Roman Empire looks like on a map - how big it was.
Step six: In among this you can place something patriotic, "Land of the Free" is a good one, a reference to the Constitution, Congress ("the letter and the spirit of the Congressional enabling legislation"), the Founding Fathers or Sarah Palin. Claim anti-smuggling measures are discrimination against Americans.

Step seven: In order to make your comment noticeable, insult someone. "Small minded scholars" is bound to get their attention, as is "the ludicrous government of Italy"

Step eight: Put your name under it and send to the CPAC.
UPDATE 2.3.15
This observer welcomes Mr. Barford's observation, believing that it will do a great deal toward aiding US collectors  of ancient coins in coming to understand the contempt and animosity which radical archaeologists feel toward collectors, and the relentless war that the Archaeological Institute of America is waging against US collectors of ancient coins and other antiquities.
Nah, as is quite clear from the above, just the ones incapable of thinking for themselves. If the cap fits, wear it. And as for what the public comments cover, Mr Welsh might like to brush up on his CCPIA. If he cannot work it out for himself or get a sensible and honest answer from anyone else, I suggest he ask a knowledgeable Cultural Heritage Lawyer.

UPDATE 3.3.15
Meanwhile Peter Tompa of Bailey and Ehrenberg PLLC suggests it is otherwise:
"more Barford foolishness. The fact is that most collectors can only comment on what they know. They know the impact of restrictions on their hobby. That's an entirely appropriate basis for comment, and I would note the Fed. Register Notice does not suggest otherwise".
a copy of which is in the docket itself - under which the comments go Meetings: Cultural Property Advisory Committee): 
The Committee's responsibilities are carried out in accordance with provisions of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.; “Act”). The text of the Act and MOUs, as well as related information, may be found at [...] All oral and written comments must relate specifically to the determinations under 19 U.S.C. 2602, pursuant to which the Committee must make findings.
The fact that "most collectors don't know" any more about what to write than their cynical dealer lobbyist puppet-masters tell them to write is neither here nor there. However the latter want to deny that it is so, the Federal Register note is explicit. If collectors are commenting on the basis of the "impact of restrictions on their hobby", let them give concrete examples showing the actual impact, of current documentation requirements from coin-importing hobbyists on "the interchange of cultural property among nations for scientific, cultural, and educational purposes", not glib cut-and-paste off-topic parroted fluff. If they know something, let the collectors give the CPAC the evidence which the commenting process is set up to gather and if they don't know anything, they should think twice before allowing themselves to be exploited by manipulative cynics working in the interests of the IAPN and PNG.

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