Tuesday 11 May 2010

Clear as Mudd: ANA against legal coin imports

Douglas Mudd (ANA curator) represented the American Numismatic Association at the CPAC hearing on the extension of the Italy MOU and spoke on how restricting imports of coins from Italy to those which had been legally exported "would hamper the ANA’s educational mission and ability to procure coins for its collections". How bizarre, how many illegally exported coins from Italy does the ANA need?
In response to a question from CPAC member Joan Connelly (Archaeology), Mudd defended the practice of using low value coins “with dirt still on them” for educational purposes. He noted that if archaeologists are concerned about this, they should advocate laws akin to the UK Treasure Act that encourage finders to report artifacts.
Mr Mudd seems unaware that the "UK Treasure Act" does not apply to coins not made of silver or gold (thus most "low value coins"), or even silver or gold coins found singly. Neither does it apply to other types of archaeological material in any consistent manner. The Treasure Act protects nothing, except "treasure", and then that not very well.

The representative of the ANA is not reported as indicating how he proposes that US archaeologists should prevail on other sovereign nations to adopt archaeological resource protection legislation "akin to the UK Treasure Act" that would "encourage finders to report artifacts" (most legislations in force today of course already require the reporting of finds). Neither does Mudd indicate by what right they would feel they should interfere with the existing legislation of foreign states. Don't the US do enough of this kind of imperialist dictation to other states already?

It seems to me however that it is entirely within the brief and rights of US archaeological institutions to require that the US trade in antiquities is made more accountable, and among other things to ask ICE to take steps to ensure that antquities imported into the US for use on the US market have been exported in accordance with proper established procedure. I really do not see why a body like the ANA would be fighting that: do they too want the US coin market to be a pirate market? What kind of "education" does that give the US citizen? The Robber Baron mentality it seems is not dead. Instead the US collector seems intent on not being prevented from robbing the archaeological record barren, and this representation suggests that the ANA is behind them all the way.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.