Friday, 15 July 2011

Bloggie Silence

It's rather odd, isn't it, that a major antiquities trade story breaks - probably the most significant story of the last couple of months, and.... there is total silence from the dealers' and collectors' lobby. Peter Tompa ('Cultural property Observer (sic)') is talking about Jewish manuscripts (Holyland Numismatics is selling them too). Dorothy King - despite her very close interest in the looting question at the moment has a post on a doggie cartoon. Wayne Sayles waffling on about how context of archaeological finds is not really all that important because coins have pictures and writing on them... David Welsh is fulminating over the announcement that somebody he does not like is going to chair the CPAC. Alfredo De La Fe is joyful that you can study egyptology online at Michigan now. Jim McGarigle is urging everybody to fight import restrictions and reiterates the "Collectors' Rights Resolution" of the Wisconsin GOP. Jorg Lueke likewise. Candice Jarman rails against repatriation of stolen artefacts.

Tim Haines hides his Yahoo group's posts from me, so I could not say how well informed the members of this group are being kept about these developments, likewise Moneta-L hides its discussions from non-registered-non-coin-fondlers. Certainly there has been no news yet on Dave Welsh's near monologous Unidroit-L discussion forum.

UPDATE, two hours later: Peter Tompa has decided to enter the discussion. In his "Bad Paperwork" he says,
the indictment in United States v. Khouli, et al., really comes down to the issue of whether the Defendants submitted proper paperwork to the Government when they imported Egyptian artifacts from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
But that is precisely what export and import are about, is it not? That is all we want of the antiquities trade, to have the paperwork in order. Not having the paperwork in order is what makes the illicit trade.

The others however have not yet broken silence

UPDATE: except Sayles in a snide comment on Looting Matters.

UPDATE 16th July A.M.: PhDiva has now joined the discussion with two welcome posts ICE makes arrests and seizes cultural artifacts stolen from Egypt though vaguely in apologetic tone: "shows 'the system' is working" (no, its the exception that proves the rule that most other 'minor antiquities" get through US ICE with no problems at all to "surface" on the market there - if they had been stopped at the border and questioned, exactly the same problems would arise with the vast majority of them, I am sure). Also: "The dealers, none of whom I had heard of before, suggesting to me that they are on the fringes of the art world"> Hmm. One of them is a third generation dealer and extremely well known in the milieu, the other quite prominent in the numismatic milieu, among other things as a supplier of "dealers lots" and some quite spectacular fresh material. But these people selling dugups are indeed peripheral to the ART world, I suppose. Dr King has another text too: Federal Authorities Charge Four Smugglers.


kyri said...

come on paul you know thats not true.i know you have access somehow to the yahoo group as you have posted frequently about discussions there,as for peter tompa,well to his credit he has posted about this topic,needless to say, he holds a very different view to yours.
ps,even wayne sayles commented on this topic in looting matters.

Paul Barford said...

1) As you know I am a great advocate of responsible collecting. Officially I am blocked from viewing Tim Haines' Yahoo "responsible collectors" discussion forum, and it suits me to point that out - it says a lot about that forum and its members.

2) Mr Tompa only posted about an hour after I wrote. As you see there is an update here mentioning it which I wrote a while back, perhaps you did not read to the bottom (?).

3) Sayles' comment on LM was simply insulting and (as usual) does not address the issue David was raising. I replied there, but do not know if David approved my comment or not.

Paul Barford said...

So, what IS the discussion between "responsible collectors" on the yahoo group? The two dealers concerned are both on their recommended dealers list, they may even be members.

Are dealers and collectors over there applauding the ICE for trying to keep illegally obtained material of the market, or are they up in arms that a collector had a home visit two days ago to have a look at what he'd bought recently? Any more "cold dead hands" talk? Or are they keeping quiet hoping it will blow over and not get any worse?

Or are they all rallying round and having a whip round for a "defence fund"?

David Gill said...

Your response has been posted.

Alfredo De La Fe said...

Paul, you are a disingenuous turd.

As you are very much aware, I have posted very few blog posts in the last year. I simply do not have time because of family responsibilities, health issues and running my business (not that it is any of your concern).

Paul Barford said...

Alfredo, as you can see I was talking about a general trend I had noticed. Your blog is just one of NINE collectors' resources mentioned, but you are the only one so far to respond in such a foul-mouthed manner.

Alfredo De La Fe said...

You are either disingenuous or mentally ill (or quite possibly both). Do you think it makes a difference that I am one of "NINE" collectors' resources mentioned? You point out that I am silent on a subject, claiming that there is something "odd" about this. You mislead your readers by adding my name and link to my blog implying that I am somehow avoiding the issue while giving the impression that I am avoiding it on purpose.

I found out about the indictments in the afternoon and received the complaint and indictment paperwork later in the day. I could certainly comment on what I read (actually, more important is what I did NOT find) in the paperwork, but I do not have the time nor energy.

Alfredo De La Fe said...

Again with the misdirection. I did not even address your "foul mouthed" comment. At worst, my calling you a disingenuous turd would be worthy of a PG13 rating.

Paul Barford said...

No, I pointed out that you were the only person who replied in a foul mouthed manner. Peter Tompa and Dorothy King have now written something.

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