Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Proposal for Peter Tompa

In his oral presentation before the CPAC on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 (which he subsequently published) concerning the proposed renewal of the cultural property MOU with Cyprus, Peter Tompa made a clear and unambiguous statement:
4. The CPIA requires less drastic remedies to be tried first before import restrictions are imposed, but Cyprus has no coherent regulatory scheme for metal detectors and even allows British tourists to bring them to the Island;
I happen to think that Peter Tompa is wrong here, have said so and Tompa ignores that. So I have a proposal for Peter Tompa, let's go together to Cyprus, with him with a metal detector in his luggage (I'll borrow one for him if he has not got one) and me with my video camera. Let him just first publish on his website: "I am going to Cyprus for a few days to do some metal detecting for ancient coins". He can go out metal detecting on some fields on the island and I will film him doing some "unregulated metal detecting". And when the police come to "unregulate" his metal detecting, I'll film that too. So that coineys can see that to the last, Peter Tompa was willing to back up the words he writes on their behalf with action.

Go on Mr Tompa, show us all that you really DO believe you are right.
The ACCG will pay the airfare I am sure.

Do please also dress as a British metal detectorist too, the 'squeaky nylon anorak' style I think would suit you - don't forget the gloves and kneelers. Or your probe and PAStexplorers membership card.

[By the way, builders use metal detectors to locate pipework and cables under plaster, when felling old trees its useful to check the trunks for embedded nails and wire before turning on the chainsaw. Metal detectors are used in a number of applications (and hobbies) which do not involve violating very specific antiquity laws. Mere possession of a metal detector is not a punishable offence in most countries, and in only one I know of is their movement across international borders controlled].

Vignette: US metal detectorist in socks.


Paul Zoetbrood said...

Hi Paul,

it shouldbe easy for collectors or dealers to find the relevant information on national heritage laws.
it's usually just one search question and one or two mouse-clicksaway.
As to Cyprus heritage Lwas;$file/law-en-1.pdf

More specifically to [portable antiquities] read part 1.

For an easy check of heritage lwas of other EU-memberstates see:

Paul Zoetbrod

Paul Barford said...

Well, actually I have already GIVEN HIM the very same link: (Dec 27, 2010)

but it really looks like one would be mistaken if one thought that the coin dealers' paid lobbyist Peter Tompa is a bit interested in what this or that law ACTUALLY SAY. He's a paid lobbyist and it seems his main aim is doing what he's paid for. That is - it seems - primarily to stir up uncritical and gullible collectors (the dealers' clients) to con them into supporting the dealers. So he'll come out with any old crap that will do that. The story about the metal detectors (which he cribbed from the Bulgarian 'organized crime' report a few weeks earlier) is precisely that - a provocative story.

If Mr Tompa reads this and disagrees, then let him take me up on my offer of a metal detecting holiday in the sun and prove to everybody that "metal detecting is unregulated" in Cyprus. I'll film it.

Some time ago I pointed out that the most useful thing the ACCG could do for COLLECTORS would be to compile a database of the cultural property laws of each of the "source countries" so COLLECTORS would have a checklist of things they need to check out in their due diligence. Did they ever do it? Of course not. There are however several databases which have since arisen in the past few years which are- as you say - a mouse click away. Do they look?

Paul Zoetbrood said...


Should have thought so, that you had given the link(s), regarding the way you usualy do. Sorry to bother.

By the way, you know of the German archaeologist Rainer Schreg? In his own words his blog: Archaeologik presents news and thoughts on various aspects of archaeological research and cultural heritage management.

Archaeologik presents news and thoughts on various aspects of archaeological research and cultural heritage management.

Has some / a lot references to your sire.


paul zoetbrood

Paul Barford said...

No, please DO bother. I enjoy getting feedback.

I only realised I'd given him this link because I Googled it and the search revealed an old post of mine.

I am afraid I did not know about Rainer Schreg's blog. There is a German one I saw a while ago because somebody said it was a "German Barford" - in the sense also laying into the fallacies around collecting etc. (Must blog about it, he was pretty merciless - I approve of that). Dr Schreg however too is wonderful, reading Heritage Action too, great. Not only does he write about cultural heritage issues, but he is ALSO a medievalist. Super.

I wish I could write posts as short as his.

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