Sunday, 19 September 2010

Summary of discussion of Greek Cultural Property Request to the US Government on this blog to date

Since there are a number of posts about this scattered over the pages of this blog, I thought it might be helpful to try and gather the links in one place.

On the afternoon of Sunday 19th September there are 440 public submissions showing on the website concerning the request of the Greek government to impose curbs on the import into the US of archaeological material illegally exported from Greece. This is the same number as Friday afternoon. The comments are only put up after a delay (David Gill's for example took three days to appear). This makes a nonsense of a coiney's attempt to link a sudden spurt with an email that had been sent the previous day - it just means somebody in a government office cleared a backlog before the weekend.

I have made some observations on the general pattern:
The Public reaction to the Greek Antiquity Import Control Request

I have also commented on some of the opinions sent by the Dark Side to try to stave off the application of import controls on ancient artefacts illegally exported from one of the source countries for the dugup artefacts the no-questions-asked market currently covets most:
The Soft Underbelly of American Democracy: Ninety Philistine Opinions Not on Topic

"Please do not implement new import restrictions on Greek cultural property".

Some Coiney Submissions concerning the Greek Request

This is a result of knee-jerk responses to the transparently but unashamedly alarmist tactics of the lobbyists attempting to maintain support for the damaging (but very lucrative) no-questions-asked manner of trade in the US of antiquities dug up in various foreign "source countries" (which is disguised as "maintaining US collectors' rights"):
Antiquities Lobbyists Use Crude Scare Tactics Again to Snare Gullible Collectors

Urgent Request from CNG: Help to Keep the Flow of Illegally Exported Artefacts From Greece Unrestrained by US Law

The Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act Section 303 (1) for Concerned Collectors

Cultural Property Observatorial Obfuscation

A Presumption Too Far?

The Charade Continues

and most recently to try and kick-start the flagging indignation of collectors in the doings of gubn'mint: Tabloids: Subverting the Democratic Process the Greek Way

I have also noted some opinions more closer to my own on this matter.
Public Submissions Supporting the Greek Cultural Property Request to the US Government

At the moment there are about 200 of the latter and 200 from the Dark Side. It would be disappointing if by midnight Wednesday, when the facility closes there were not more expressions of public interest in the issue of the involvement of US collectors and dealers exercising their "rights" through blocking attempts to curb the trade in illegally exported artefacts from Greece:

Greeks Too Request US Clampdown on Handling Illegally Exported Artefacts

AIA Urges Public Support of a US-Greek Cultural Property Agreement

In the Interests of All

Hate Looting? The SAFE Appeal

See also the posts on David Gill's Looting Matters.



Bill Donovan said...

Paul, for the record, here was my letter.

Dear State Department,

I'm writing you as a coin collector. In particular I enjoy collecting ancient coins. I'm an artist and a studio art professor. I'm also a war veteran, with a combat infantrymans badge awarded in 2005.

The noble hobby of amateur coin study, numismatics, has come under attack recently from foreign governments and the archaeologists who work there, sometimes they are Americans with compromised integrity because they are really representing the interests of the foreign governments. The USA believes in free trade and property rights, many of the people who are against coin collecting believe that citizens should not be able to buy ancient coins, which runs counter to the fundamental form of capitalism we practice in all other facets of our daily lives. The State Department may be tempted to side with these unamerican ideals because of political expediency. However, I urge you to consider that there are two sides of the coin, so to speak, and consider the interests of both groups.

Thanks for your consideration,

Bill Donovan MFA

Paul Barford said...


I wonder whether the CPAC will find those arguments at all convincing as a reason why they should refuse the Greek request for the USA to look out for illegally exported artefacts.

For the record, it is not all coin collecting that this MOU would affect (if the Greeks asked for coins to be included), just those that collect illegally exported coins from Greece. Is that you?

I really cannot agree with more than half of what you said, it seems the typical coiney claptrap - repeating the tosh poured out by Tompa, Sayles, Welsh and Hooker. None of whom are at all interested in helping collectors get a rounded picture; those that want that are on their own. Not that I have come cross any collectors of dugups that are at all interested in seeing that there's another side to the argument, and that there are more words in the CCPIA than their Pied Piper leaders tell them. More fool them.

Paul Barford said...

UNamercian ideals? When was combatting dishonesty unamerican?

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