Monday 12 April 2010

The Other Question the ACCG would not answer

I mentioned above that I posted two questions to the Yahoo "responsible artefact collectors' forum" for the ACCG. The first concerned what that advocacy group stands for. It got no answer. In the second I asked about the circumstances surrounding an assertion by the ACCG representative. When the problem of mounting a collectors' response to the renewal of the Italy MOU became pressing, alarmist rumours were being spread apparently by the ACCG that the revised MOU could be globally applied at Italy's demand to cover any ROMAN artefact of any type (including coins) from anywhere in the Roman Empire (note the carefully constructed rumour failed to mention Greek coins from southern Italy in this context). This is, as the rest of us know, a manipulative fabrication, but despite this, less critical collectors were obviously being taken in by it. I pointed out:"... you do not actually know the wording of any proposed amendment to the MOU with Italy, and you do not even know coins WILL be included.Welsh's reply was: This message from Paul Barford is at best disinformation, at worst a malicious lie from a radical opponent of private collecting of ancient coins..

I therefore challenged Dave Welsh or Alfredo de la Fe who had first posted this information to the discussion list to fill list members in on the precise wording of the proposed amendment to the MOU with Italy, which I maintain they do not know. I requested Mr Welsh to prove that I was "disinforming" list members when I remarked that what they were being told was speculation and that the ACCG was bluffing when it asserted that it had access to the proposed new wording of the MOU. To midnight 12th April neither representative of the ACCG had supplied any information proving me wrong.

The ACCG is most shamelessly manipulating collectors by playing on their fears and suggesting that the MOU will affect them far more deeply than it in fact will. The lack of import restrictions on artefacts is of benefit only to the could-not-care-less dealer, not the collector (who just gets another piece of paper with their coin bought from a dealer who legitimately imported it from Italy). To make collectors jump to their side, the ACCG (and now as we have seen here it seems US and UK (!) dealers like Harlan Berk and CNG) is deceiving them into believing anything is possible. An attempt to suggest a more rational approach to these claims is simply ignored in the headlong race to see how many angry faxes can be got off to Foggy Bottom before 22nd April.

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