Friday 21 January 2011

More Bare-Faced Lies About the MOU


Let us have a closer look at that ACCG-prompted propaganda intended to con collectors into opposing the extension of the US-Italy bilateral cultural property agreement a few months ago. Let us in particular look at it in terms of the ACTUAL WORDING of the CCPIA. I have already shown that the title of the text mentioned in a previous post is misleading, this is not "A Major Threat to [all] Coin Collectors, Buyers and Sellers", the measures proposed are to clean up a small segment of the dugup antiquities market in the US.

The text persuades:
"Requiring an export permit from Italy on a coin found and legally exported from Britain would not only be impractical, it would not have any legal foundation". Indeed, but then where does it say in CCPIA that one is needed under the MOU extension? It does not.

[By the way the legal import of a freshly dugup coin from Great Britain also needs an export licence, without one, it is as much illegally exported from that country as one leaving Italy without one].

"Restrictions have already been placed on the importing [...] even common 20th century coins of China". False.

"Coin collectors in the United States [...] will have to pay greatly inflated prices in order to cover the cost of preparing import licenses". There is no such document for coins listed in any US legislation.

"Customs will treat any coin on the designated list as presumptively stolen from Italy". False. Textual authority for that statement in the CCPIA?

"through certifications of the exporter and importer detailing provenance back to the date when the restrictions were imposed" that is not actually what CCPIA says, is it?

"If a Roman coin left Italy 2,000 years ago and is found today in Germany, why should Italy have any claim on this coin?" Where in the actual wording of the CCPIA is this scenario set up? Why would "any Roman coin" under the CCPIA (actual wording)? Why any claims on a coin being sent to the US from Germany when there is no MOU with Germany (CCPIA actual wording)? What is the actual textual authority for this odd alarmist statement?

Now this phase of the antiquipirates' battle to oppose the MOU about curbing sales of illegal exports in the US has been lost and we can see the actual wording of the MOU, we can look back at texts like this inflammatory and misleading piece of demagoguery and marvel that collectors took it seriously and failed to check out the basis for its alarmist statements. Now we can see what the fuss was about, it might be worth looking back at all those 1300 or so online submissions that collectors were conned into sending to the CPAC in their led-by-the-nose droves and, comparing them with the actual wording of the CCPIA, see how many of them were in fact prompted by their gullible and uncritical senders having been misled by bare-faced lies like the ones detailed above.

Vignette: US ancient coin collectors look a bit bewildered by all those words.

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