Saturday 20 February 2010

What is "the Truth About ACCG Test Case"?

In the verbal badminton game between the ACCG and the preservationists over the Baltimore Illegal Coin Import Stunt and the upcoming court case, Peter Tompa writes the next installment "Shock-Horror: Archaeologist Fails to Uncover the Truth About ACCG Test Case!". He is discussing David Gill's PR newswire press release "Looting Matters: Do Coin Collectors Care About the Archaeology of Cyprus?" which concludes
"The ACCG's officers and its legal team have failed to recognise that this sends out a clear signal to the rest of the world: some coin-collectors would rather put the acquisition of coins before the preservation and protection of the finite archaeological record".
Absolutely. Rather than answer that, however, Tompa confines himself to complaining bitterly about "another misleading press release". The adjective "misleading" is not qualified by anything more substantial than an enigmatic observation "Gill confuses a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case with a separate action to test import restrictions". It is most unfortuinate however that Tompa does not explain more clearly what he actually means by that, certainly reading the actual text shows that, two quite separate legal processes are described by Gill.

As I have said earlier it seems to me that the ACCG is engaged in nothing else at the moment than a desperate attempt to save face. Having squeezed several tens of thousands of dollars from their members, they now have to create the impression that they are getting somewhere in their fight to further liberalise the US market in dugup coins. They failed to get the conclusive evidence they needed to challenge the China and Cyprus MOUs from the FOI case, but staged the Baltimore illegal coin import stunt anyway and are going to court with a complaint full of speculation and innuendo - but little else.

But they were asked, how does this show the world that the ACCG and the collectors it claims to represent actually DO care about their role in the preservation and protection of the finite archaeological record? Personally I think that the thousands of dollars from ACCG members in the coffers of that organization would be better spent on finding ways that collectors can help, rather than further hinder this process.

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