Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Date for your diary

13th November will no doubt see an influx of coin dealers into Washington, though not for the landing of another plane with undocumented dugup coins destined for US collectors, but a public meeting of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee. Then (the day after they discuss the San Salvador MOU over import restrictions on archaeological artefacts - not much interest for the coineys) they will be discussing Italy. To be precise they will be discussing the extension of the 2001/2006 "Import Restrictions Imposed On Archaeological Material Originating in Italy and Representing the Pre-Classical, Classical, and Imperial Roman Periods" MOU.

Now Peter Tompa over on his "Cultural Property Observer" blog has in relation to this been hammering away at poor old Italy for weeks now, it seems he thinks they are useless at everything (except perhaps making pizzas). He reckons Italy has too much culture to be able to look after it properly. No doubt he and other will be at the CPAC meeting expounding on how they cannot be trusted as much as he and his collecting mates to looks after scattered bits of the Italian archaeological heritage.
I suspect the US coin dealers gathered in the ACCG, IAPN and PNG are all worried that those untrustworthy "eyties" might want to consider dugup ancient coins archaeological objects. The very idea, eh?

From what they've been writing in recent months, it seems the ACCG has convinced itself that when discussing this issue some while back President Bush's CPAC was composed of buffoons who agreed that ancient coins are not ancient artefacts. If you live near Washington, it might be worth going along to see what these people look like. Book now, have your say, and give the coin dealers a run for their money...
Photo: the CPAC in session (CultureGrrl)

1 comment:

Paul Barford said...

Interestingly, Peter Tompa's post on the same topic was apparently made a full eight hours after mine but the time the blog says it was posted suggests it was before....

Anyway Tompa's take on this is here:

he says he wishes there had been more notice, but I think Mr Tompa is not being entirely honest with his readers. A little birdie told me about this meeting long before the actual announcement, and I am pretty sure somebody with Mr Tompa's connections would have known well before the news got to Poland... Oh well.

Anyway if you live nearby, try and get along and join in.....

Tompa explicitly notes:
"Those writing should also comply with the State Department's request that comments solely address Art. II, Italy's obligations. This can include discussions about Italy's stewardship of its own cultural property as well as whether Italy should consider programs like the U.K.'s Treasure Act and PAS".

He does not indicate whether representatives of the Italian authorities were invited to respond to the suggestions made by US collectors (oh, sorry "members of the US public") that they should abandon their current legislation and adopt the more liberal British forms. Even if they do not, that is quite a separate issue from whether the US should check when someone imports antiquities froim Italy (and actually anywhere else) that they had been exported legally. After all, who in the US wants to buy items which have been illegally produced and illegally exported? I do not think US dugup coin COLLECTORS would admit to wanting that - I bet even coin dealers will say publicly that they do not "want" to either...

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