Monday 27 April 2009

Leaky old CPAC - mystery solved?

Eight months ago there was talk of the ACCG "having reason to believe" that President Bush's Cultural Property Advisory Commitee (CPAC) did not believe ancient coins to be archaeological artefacts. We were speculating on the source of the leak of this information. The mystery seems to be solved by the publication on the ACCG website of a statement by former CPAC Chairman, Jay Kislak. This suggests that the CPAC in assessing the Cyprus request for more stringent checks by US border officials that imported ancient items from that country had actually been exported legally actually DID say this should exclude coins. This is a pretty astounding revelation for two reasons.

The first is that a government advisory committee is exactly that. It advises government. By what right is Mr Kislak making public what he says are the results of deliberations of this committee if the report has been witheld?

Secondly IF this committee did indeed for some reason conclude that ancient coins are not archaeological artefacts, it certainly calls into question the competence of the people appointed by George Bush Jnr to be his advisors in this area of foreign policy too.

Yes, by all means let us all see these CPAC reports, let us also see the documentation of the CPAC's deliberations and voting and the contribution of the collector-chairman. Let us all have a good laugh. Are ancient coins archaeological artefacts? Let's not bother asking collectors, what do the US universities say?

[If ancient coins are not archaeological artefacts, why does the "Ancient Coins for Education" programme use them as if they were in their pathetic "archaeological simulations"? Maybe they should take their lead from the ACCG and Bush's CPAC.]

Photo: Jay Kislak, collector and former chairman of CPAC

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