Sunday, 31 May 2015

What is there to Hide? The Tactics of the No-Questions-Asked Antiquities Trade Lobby

The no-questions-asked trade in dugup antiquities of unknown provenance probably has too much to hide to join in with any discussion of responsible, transparent and accountable trade practices. Thus it is that when the subject is raised, these people go bananas.

Professor Nathan Elkins has been a favourite target for the sniping of the lobbyist financed by the International Association of Professional (sic) Numismatists (IAPN). Now, Elkins has dissected the tactics used by the IAPN's hired poison-pen  ('The Tactics of a Dealers' Lobbyist' Numismatics and Archaeology 26th May 2015) and it makes disturbing reading. Professional numismatists surely can afford better to publicise and present their cause. Apparently it does not bother them that the tactics used are not exactly reputable. Professor Elkins lists (with justifications given): Personal attacks, Dismissal, Denigration, Deception, Straw Man arguments, Misrepresentation, Deflection, Innuendo, and Intimidation. Hardly a very edifying approach to the heritage debate. Elkins attempts to discern why the IAPN lobbying effort would descend to such levels He fails to come up with a satisfying answer. One reason may be true ignorance of the issues or a misunderstanding of them. This I think we can take for granted; coineys do not give the impression of being the sharpest knives in the drawer. They may well be gullible enough to accept unquestioningly the arguments of the lobbyist representative of the IAPN. That the whole milieu has problems with reality is illustrated above all by their lobbying" efforts, and their choice of a most incompetent way to represent their cause.

UPDATE 31st May 2015 The IAPN representative lobbyist Peter Tompa attempts to respond, but not in any meaningful way, further demands for attention, "innuendo of a hidden conspiracy" and a total failure to engage with what Elkins wrote.As Elkins notes:
It is truly a pity that organizations have spent good money to support such a despicable and painfully transparent modus operandi. At least its transparency and lack efficacy will only hinder the cause to protect the damaging status quo.

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