Sunday, 18 March 2012

AIA take on what happened at the CPAC meeting

Christina Luke and numismatist Jane Evans have published an account on the '
CPAC Public Hearing January 18, 2012' (March 9, 2012). This concentrates mainly on the US-Cyprus MoU. Over a dozen experts – former diplomats, scholars, field archaeologists, art historians – testified in the public hearing before the Committee. The authors note:
There was a great deal of web activity prior to the hearing about the inclusion of coins in the MoU. Three numismatists posted public comments and testified on behalf of retaining coins on the list, and suggested extending the time period to at least Byzantine coins minted on Cyprus. [...] Three people attended the session opposed the renewal of the MOU with Cyprus due to the inclusion of coins on the list of objects with import restrictions. Their arguments were threefold: that the agreement abrogated their constitutional right to happiness (through collecting); that coins were meant to circulate widely in the ancient world, and so should continue to circulate today; and that the restriction of coins and the documentation required for legally imported coins would have deleterious effects upon small business. These views were met with penetrating questions by committee members.

I think there are an awful lot of questions once could pose about US coin collectors' and especially dealers' positions.

The authors conclude that "it is important to have experts show interest in U.S. cultural policy as it pertains to not only U.S. foreign relations, but also the practice and conduct of U.S.-foreign cultural exchanges that are part of the network of scholarship, of specific interest in countries with U.S. Foreign Centers, such as CAARI".


Jee said...

Is that all they have? Seriously? I thought they had some decent arguments but those three are just useless!

All laws restrict someone's happiness, that's the point of them.
..... Slaves pre-date coins as a unit of exchange, so what? ..... Checks would have deleterious effects? Not on small businesses that are already carrying them out.

Cultural Property Observer said...

This is a very misleading account of what happened. For a far more complete summary, see

Paul Barford said...

Somehow I thought that is what the dealers and their lobbyists would say... I think I have already blogged about your account, haven't I?

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