Tuesday, 14 July 2009

"Cyprus does not offer export licences for coins"

Mr Tompa announced to Robyn that "Cyprus does not offer export certificates for coins of Cypriot type. China does for some ancient Chinese coins".

That’s an odd phrase, "Cyprus does not offer export certificates for coins of Cypriot type". The United Kingdom does not “offer” them for UK dugups either, the exporter has to apply for one. In both cases the term is “licence” and not “certificate”. Now as far as I can see there is nothing in Cypriot legislation (there is a summary here) which specifically forbids coins from leaving the island any more than any other kind of artefact. Cultural Property Lawyer Mr Tompa can no doubt fill in the legal details here.

What is clear however is that even recently a British antiquities dealer (Helios Antiquities) managed to find some rather nice Cypriot antiquities which were specifically advertised as being accompanied by an export licence. I am going to have to give a reference to the cached version of the page, as those items were snapped up leaving most of the rest still unsold for now. Obviously some collectors are concerned to acquire items that are demonstrably untainted for their collections, the question is, how many dealers can supply them? So if a British dealer can find portable antiquities which have export licences and decent documented provenances, why cannot US dealers of the ACCG, PNG and IAPN?

Is it actually true that if an ACCG buyer obtained some duplicate coins of common Cypriote type from a registered collector, that the latter would be refused a licence to export them from the island? I think this statement needs testing.

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