Thursday 3 November 2011

Coiney Lassitude

The final batch of coiney "protests about the expected inclusion of ancient coins in the forthcoming Memorandum of of Understanding whose details have unquestionably already been negotiated with Bulgaria" have yet to appear on the US government website where public comments were sought. At the moment there are 355 comments, so a final total of about 500 (assuming a spurt at the end) seems likely. So that's about a quarter of what it has been before. Perhaps coineys are becoming wise to the tactics of the dealers who try to coerce them into campaigning on their behalf by alarmist claims which do not tally with the facts. Perhaps they see that the ACCG is leading them down a path which can only lead to the whole milieu being compromised through association. If 48000 collectors remained silent before, now we see 49500 unwilling to raise a voice in support of importation of illegally exported coins. The number of commentators holding out for no-questions-asked dealing of the worst kind is now just 1% of the estimated 50 000 collectors in the US.


Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

Two interesting ones: Stephen Knerly, Jr. on behalf of the American Association of Museums Directors!documentDetail;D=DOS-2011-0115-0282

and by the same group for Belize:!documentDetail;D=DOS-2011-0116-0027

Another sad comment comes from the former curator at the Brooklyn Museum:!documentDetail;D=DOS-2011-0115-0278

Since he writes about Iraq -- hello, is this for Bulgaria? -- I wonder whether this one is meant sarcastic. After all, it was the Brooklyn Museum through which a collector was able to gain $ 57 Million for an Iraqi 8cm figurine at an auction house in 2007 since the figure was on display in the Brookly Museum for so long. $ 57 Million could have help a lot of museums in Iraq, and in Bulgaria for that matter... :-)

Cultural Property Observer said...

Well, let's then consider applying the same analysis to those in favor of the MOU. How many is that exactly (not counting the "extra-legal" SAFE petition)? The AIA claims it has 200,000 members (a figure derived from the circulation of its magazine)-- so even if we generously assume that 100 commented, what does that say?

If there has been any "comment fatigue" I would put the blame on the fact that collectors are starting to believe that the whole CPAC process is a farce. And why not? In addition to the decision on Cyprus, based on statements of Robert Korver at a public forum on Capitol Hill, it appears that DOS once again went against the wishes of CPAC, prior precedent and the vast majority of the public comments when it decided to add coins to the Italian MOU.

Paul Barford said...

Indeed, the utter passivity of archaeologists towards portable antiquity collecting issues both sides of the Atlantic is something which it should be clear from this blog I find exceedingly annoying.

But then they had nobody drumming up the sort of alarmism as was being pushed out by the coin dealers to all their clients.

The involvement of the dealers in this whole affair is strong evidence that the pretence that the ACCG acts on behalf of responsible collectors is a farce.

Anonymous said...


From Re-Reading your blog entries in the last weeks, I can nothing but admire your courage to stand up and not remain silent.
You have many supporters! Your comments on the horrible dealer-coinie group entries for the Bulgaria MOU were remarkably clear and at least I also learned alot about Americas willingness to plunder the world for a few more bucks. These coin-lobbyists are a shame for every country. This Tomparoli guy does not understand anything, he does not want to understand laws, although he considers himself a lawyer. Just who in this world allows this guy to keep his license?

Paul Barford said...

Thanks Avatar, much appreciated. I am not sure how much "courage" is needed to speak out about something you sincerely believe is utterly wrong.

Having "supporters" is nice, but not enough if they remain silent and inactive leaving it up to a few "others" to speak for them.

It would be nice to hear that you were planning to go along to the State Department CPAC meeting and look the coineys and their lobbyists in the eye and say "you are wrong, sirs". I wish I could.

But thanks for your comments and support.

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