Tuesday, 25 October 2016

When will this Simian Coiney Nonsense STOP?

Pay peanuts you get monkeys. If the IAPN pays nothing at all for lobbying, they get Peter Tompa of Bailey and Ehrenberg PLC, who writes the same utter crap time after time. He used to get paid for it, now apparently he's doing it in his own free time. Here he is in full tinfoil helmet mode (System Now Rigged; Underlying Facts Have Not Changed):
'This is what I said, more or less, at today's CPAC meeting about the renewal of the current MOU with Cyprus. [...] "I am speaking on behalf of the International Association of Professional Numismatists and the Professional Numismatics Guild, which represent the small businesses of the numismatic trade...". '
Is he? Can the IAPN confirm that they fully endorse this junk? I bet they don't.
'We've heard a lot from first [...] the Trump campaign[...] that the system is rigged. Here, unfortunately, there is strong evidence that may be the case.'
No there is not, Trump's own statements reveal him to the rest of us as a small-minded, petty, bigoted, xenophobic, groping, fact-dodging pig. He's not going to get enough votes to lead his country to shame and disaster because many Americans do not share his 'values'. Neither do all Americans support artefact smuggling and theft. No 'rigging', just common decency. Something Trump and many coin dealers seem to lack any understanding of.
Coins are items of commerce. So, it is difficult for modern nation states to justifiably claim them as their “cultural property.”
So, nothing that is an item of commerce is cultural property? That's a new definition on me. The artisans, craftsmen and artists who made the items in our museums made them to sell, to buy food for their families. Are the items circulating in the well-documented kula ring exchange system cultural property for the Washington 'observer' or not? And if they are not, is that because they were made for circulation, or is it because as the products of  'tribal', brown-skinned folks, this is not the White lawyer's idea of 'real cultural property'? But it is culture, isn't it? What about stone axes or bronze age objects, exchanged over large distances in elaborate social networks before being hoarded? Also nothing to do with 'cultural property'? Or are coins part of some kind of  'superior' Aryan exchange system and therefore different from the goods of 'primitive' excchange. This is a serious question for the IAPN and PNG. As for the coins themselves, and building on that last argument, this is a really simian comment:
They are probably the most common of historical artifacts and are not of “cultural significance.”
Both parts of that sentence are complete tosh, as any fool will know. The coineys' representative, speaking on behalf of TWO "professional" associations reveals himself utterly pig ignorant. The 'cultural property lawyer' would presumably think that in Colonial Williamsburg 'coins are the most common artefact' found. I wonder if he has been there and asked the staff or is he just making this up as he goes along?  In Pompeii? In Pharaoh Ahmose's tomb? On the streets of Dura Europos? In a Pictish crannog? A Tuscan Roman villa? The Athenian Agora? The excavation of WW1 trenches at Ypres? What is this guy talking about? On which site or sites or in which county's archaeological record are discarded coins in fact the most common artefacts found? Facts or lobbyist's nonsense statement?

As for whether they are 'real cultural property'... coins of course - as are any other elements of material culture - as the name suggest are not bananas. Material culture is part of culture, and is part of the material evidence of the nature of that culture. Only an orang utan would argue otherwise and head for the bananas.  Then the US rep of the IAPN and PNG brings out the 'playing the victim' and 'discrimination' arguments: 
It simply makes no sense to preclude Americans from importing coins where there is no real “concerted international response.”
Since we are talking about the US CCPIA, let us now add what the commentator carefully omitted: 'in flagrant disregard of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on ...' and see it it makes a great deal of sense if we want to prevent the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Americans have a voracious appetite for such items (they imagine they help them find imagined 'roots' and serve as trophies and providers of cachet as symbols of 'erudition and culture' ). So yes, of course it makes sense to try and get some discipline into that particular market. Now for more Tinfoil Helmet time....
it has recently come to light that the decision maker at the time made the decision after she had already announced she was leaving for a job at Goldman Sachs, where she was recruited and works for the husband of an AIA Trustee who has been very active lobbying on cultural heritage issues.
(for more on the connection with chemical trails, illuminati and the GM bananas - see here: Goldman Sachs Power and Influence Benefit Archaeology Lobby?) This is the coiney idea of a 'smoking gun'. So? And who does Mr Tompa's wife work for? And has she recently changed jobs? Or received any "awards"? We need to know, people. Two can play at the 'ridiculous coiney' mud-slinging game. Then we have a justificatory 'Two Wrongs' argument:
“dig dollars” might be better spent on site security during the long off season and paying her local workers a fair living wage so they will not be tempted to do any looting in the long off season.
The lawyer fails to prove that looting is exclusively, mainly or sometimes done by former site workers. Or restricted to archaeological sites (and what about church thefts?). I have discussed this nonsense before (nobody much else will give this 'justification' of smuggling the time of day). The IAPN meanwhile has failed to make a single payment from its fund established to carry out the pilot programme  of their OWN SUGGESTION. Not a single one. That speaks volumes for its commitment to its own ideas. Like everyone in the antiquities dealing world, they are quick to sling the mud and demand that others deal with the mess the no-questions-asked market creates. They run a mile from any suggestion that they participate in any way.  For the logistics see here (the IAPN obviously have not looked into it, so they do not know): 'Guarding The Sites...' PACHI Sunday, 14 July 2013.

I argue that, apart from its impracticality, expense and unproven effectiveness, the position of the IAPN and PNG are egregious examples of orientalist Trump-like racism: 'Collectors' Colonialist and Supremacist Ideology'. Nothing these people write about the citizens of the source countries dispels that impression.

Having tried it once, the IAPN and PNG representative trots out on their behalf yet another 'Two Wrongs'. This one takes the biscuit.

Finally, the State Department and Cyprus have never seriously considered alternatives to import restrictions like the Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure Act.
Why should they, pray? And what has the state department of the US got to do with what the Cypriots do in their own country across the seas? In any case, only in the circles of the ignorant coineys of Washington, surely are there poorly literate people who cannot work out that neither the PAS not the TA in any way regulate the export of artefacts, so are of absolutely zero relevance to the current form of the atavistic 1980s "CCPIA". It beats me how may times you have to explain this without the loudest of them (at least) catching on. Is it really so difficult for the IAPN and PNG ("professionals") to understand this? Is there really something in the corrosion products of the coins they handle that rots the brain? After all, the PAS and TA have been in existence twenty years, and there is a lot written about it (for C2s and Ds indeed) in plain English.  The kids-left-behind in the US who cannot keep up with concepts as complex as tying their own shoelaces really should stay silent - at the back. That way people just assume they are stupid. When they shout out what they 'understand', we all are able to ascertain the truth about that.

Then, de rigeur,  the US representative of the IAPN and PNG trot out the usual 'playing the victim' and 'discrimination' arguments again bit again (he likes that one, plays well to the gallery):
 Indeed, it's a real shame that they particularly hurt the ability of Cypriot and Greek Americans from getting in touch with their heritage. 
What is a shame is that the IAPN and PNG are selfishly insisting on the 'right' (sic) to buy stuff smuggled from under the noses of Cypriots and Greeks whose families did not become economic migrants and still live in Cyprus and Greece. Nothing stops Cypriot and Greek Americans from getting in touch with their heritage by going to live in Cyprus and Greece to contribute there to the licit economy there, instead of financing the illicit one. Have the IAPN and PNG asked a representative sample of Cypriot and Greek Americans if they really want Greece and Cyprus looted of their culture to line the pockets of members of the International Association of Professional Dealers and the Professional Dealers Guild? My guess is that most of the decent ones would say a decisive no. Except some of the ones that will vote for Donald Trump anyway.

UPDATE 27th October 2016
An anonymous so-called "scholar/dealer" claims to have "answered" the above post. In fact this reply has about as much in common with authentic scholarship as bananas. The sock puppet concentrates on my discussion of the moronic assertion presented to the CPAC as a "fact", viz (I quote):
Coins [....]   probably the most common of historical artifacts and are not of “cultural significance.” 
That is what was solemnly said in Washington, and that is the thesis I discussed and showed was erroneous.The sock puppet weasels:
This is a perfect example of how you can be criticized for what you haven't said and don't mean. I would say that coins are among the most common of all ancient artifacts that are found in areas where coins were used.
No, Mr Weasel face, Tompa is criticised for what he not only said, but published in black and white. In any case coins are NOT the most common historical artefact found ANYWHERE "where coins were used". Not even in the Athenian Agora, Pompeii, or a Roman villa in Tuscany, or First World War Belgium (a fully monetary economy, and yes soldiers had money with them there). Mr faceless Weasel (who we do not learn whether he is a member of either of the "professional" [sic] associations so compromised by this statement) has failed to address the other TEN points I raise.

Really pathetic Mr Tompa, totally and utterly pathetic. How many more anonymous "supporters" can you conjure up to make idiots of themselves? How about getting somebody from the board of the IAPN or PNG to come here (or on your blog) and support what you said allegedly on their behalf and at their bidding? Dare they? Come on coineys, back up what your man says. Pathetic, the lot of you with your selfish false arguments. You just show how worthy you are of being accorded any attention in the heritage debate.

The rest of us can just take a look at the comment by David Knell for more evidence of a total lack of joined up thinking in the milieu of the no-questions-asked trade.

1 comment:

David Knell said...

While admitting that Tompa's contention that coins "are probably the most common of historical artifacts" was utter rubbish, an attempted rejoinder to you on his blog states:

"Immense numbers of coins have been found in Pompeii [...] Huge numbers of coins were found in Dura-Europos [...] The Athenian Agora has produced over 100,000 coins"

Hold on, coin dealers are constantly telling us that coins are hardly ever found at archaeological sites. Now they're finally admitting they are - but only if they can use that fact AGAINST conservation.

Hmm, give the ACCG enough rope ...

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