Friday, 14 July 2017

Dealers' Associations Scraping the Barrel

The sad spectacle of the Baltimore Illegal Coin Import Stunt continues. The dealers of the US simply will not accept that they have to obtain at least minimal documentation of the recent history of items they want to bring onto the market to separate the licit from the potentially illicit. What selfish jerks. So their lobbyist Peter Tompa hopefully announces (CPO Thursday, July 13, 2017: 'ACCG Gets Amicus Support'):
Six collector and trade groups have supported the Ancient Coin Collectors' Guild's appeal seeking to ensure that the due process rights of collectors are protected. 
Balderdash, they are seeking to perpetuate ther damaging no-questions-asked business practices. Let us just name and shame these cowboys: 
(1) American Numismatic Association; (2) Association of Dealers and Collectors of Ancient and Ethnographic Art; (3) Committee for Cultural Policy; (4) Global Heritage Alliance; (5) International Association of Professional Numismatists and (6) the Professional Numismatists Guild.
'Integrity and responsibility'? That's a laugh.  Once again, the content of the relevant legislation is being misrepresented to collectors:
Under the Convention for Cultural Property Implementation Act, the government may only seize and forfeit archaeological and ethnological objects “first discovered within” and “subject to export control by” specific countries.  And even then, the government must make some showing that the articles left that country after the effective date of those regulations.  Here, at most, all the government showed was that the coins were of types on the “designated lists” for Cyprus and China.
Which is indeed the criterion applicable to items seized at the US border without documentation supplied by the exporter that it complies with the requirements laid down by the CCPIA. While the US law is atavistic in relationship to today's antiquities market and a piece of crap legislation in general, its wording is perfectly clear in relation to the items which these dealers conspired were to import into the US.

When will this farce stop, and when will responsible collectors tell the dealers they buy from that they expect better standards, not only within the business practices of the trade, but also behaviour of those involved in it?

 It may end sooner than we think when the international dealers' associations promoting it realize that while they've been faffing around with the CCPIA to protect one end of the market, massively more restrictive moves have been happening over here in Europe where it is not 'whether one can import' that is in question, but the legality of objects themselves. American dealers will now have their export market to worry about too.

The ACCG and the dealers and collectors that support it have been pissing into a pool of filth which is rapidly drying up as they watch.

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