Monday 13 July 2009

Unlucky Thirteen: The ACCG Baltimore coin stunt – time is up

Today is the thirteenth of July. The CPIA allowed 90 days for the ACCG to show that the coins that they imported into Baltimore in April were (as required by US law in such cases) purchased from somebody who had legitimately imported and then exported them. By my reckoning today the ninety days is up. Unless there is some piece of breaking news I have missed, no such paperwork is reported to have been presented to US Customs. The ACCG, PNG and IAPN has embarked on a process of confrontation with the US government in an attempt to overthrow conservation-orientated laws. They have an uphill battle ahead of them, their FOI request has not produced (and seems unlikely to produce) the documents they need to fight the legality of the Cyprus and China MOU. Public opinion is increasingly turning against antiquity dealers who try to bypass measures which allow the trading of illicitly obtained portable antiquities. Reputable dealers and ethical collectors are stressing their adherence to good practice and the law in line with the overall aim of day of reducing this trade. Yet a small group of collectors (who claim to be acting in the name of all the ancient coin collectors of the USA) is bucking the trend, they are trying to reverse the trend to a more ethical collecting of portable antiquities. For this they deserve to be condemned and shunned, together with all the antiquity dealers that support them.

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