Tuesday 3 April 2012

If I were Maria Kouroupas

Personal attack is the very stuff of the tactics of the supporters of no-questions-asked collecting. As in all populist movements, group identity and solidarity is fostered by reference to a hostile and alien "Other". Since they cannot easily cope mentally with the idea that they are opposed by groups of right-thinking people ("conservationists", "preservationists") they have to conceive the struggle as one against a particular (and necessarily "evil") individual.

If I were Maria Kouroupas and was reading the slander certain coineys have published over the years, but in particular in the Huffington Post yesterday, not to mention open access coiney blogs  (here and here for example) and closed access groups, I would be getting my lawyers to slap a court summons on at least two coin dealers today. I hope she does, "First Amendment rights" or not. I'd like to see Sayles and Welsh defend the "truth" of what they say in a court of law or be prepared to face the consequences. I imagine that Maria Koroupas in the State Department in Washington has a few "connections" not available to small fry like Sayles and Welsh. So in addition to legal action, were I in her place I would make sure those consequences are severe and at least as damaging as their groundless accusations (though I am sure that she herself would display far more equanimity than would be my reaction to this totally uncalled-for attack).

From Sayle's "first call to arms for coin collectors across the U.S.":
It is time for President Obama and Hillary Clinton to stop Kouroupas.
"...the restrictions that target this industry are the work of a lone, unelected   State Department bureaucrat..."
[are they? Really?]
"...individual who unapologetically ignores bipartisan Congressional opposition and scoffs at the concept of transparency..."  
[does she? Where?]
"...she has [...] pushed ahead with import restrictions..."
[has she? So they are not needed for Precolumbian artefacts, Byzantine icons and all the other things they regulate the movement of?]
"... the crisis faded, it has been subverted by Kouroupas to expand trade sanctions..." [Bipartite cultural property agreements precede the 2003 legislation mentioned, nobody "subverted' anything]
"...  Kouroupas [...]  penalizes U.S. citizens [...] Her restrictions are draconian, "
 [they are not "hers" but belong to the CPIA, neither are they 'draconian']
".... she shows no sign of stopping with coins...".
[oddly enough the MOUs actually cover all sorts of cultural property and always have...]
"...Kouroupas' restrictions only apply to Americans..." [only those that live and trade within the US under US laws, other citizens abide by the laws of their own country]
"...[Kouroupas has made]  the U.S. the only country in the world with such import sanctions..." [has the author checked that, or just assumed it? It is not true]
"... Kouroupas denounces [all US collectors] them as criminals...". 
[does she? Where?]
"... Kouroupas,  is openly disdainful of Congressional oversight ..."
 [is she? Openly? Where?]
"[Kouroupas] has avoided scrutiny for so long ..."

Dealer Dave agrees: "...tell it straight regarding Maria Kouroupas, addressing the damage she has done during her years of misrule and how poorly she has served the citizens of the United States..."
"... Kouroupas [should be] removed from the office she has disgraced..."

Elias Tziambazis (Quality Ancient Coins) accuses her of un-American activities:
"... Maria Kouroupas is not of purely American nationality..."
"....she doesn't give a damn if she alienates Americans as long as her misguided concept of cultural morality may benefit the countries she is MOST interested in (and that is definitely NOT the USA)...."
"...[she is not] an American with no ties to another country...."

[is this Mr Elias? Selling dugup coins based in Cyprus through Ancient Peddler?]

Vignette: Coin of Kyzicos, Mysia with no published collecting history showing (he imagines) Wayne Sayles with a severed head.

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