Thursday 19 April 2012

The Sophisticated Rhetoric of Coiney Discussion

In a comment under an article posted online from "World Coin news", On March 26, 2012 G.J. said:
Hey Mr. Barford, how about taking your opinion and shoving it up your backside!
I was commenting on David C. Harper's exhortations ('Uphill Ancients Battle Worth Waging' World Coin News, posted online March 14, 2012) which seemed to me an effort to drum up more support for the ACCG's foundering fight against measures intended to curb antiquity smuggling ("the Americans love an underdog, so why not join us?"). On March 14, 2012 in reply to the original somewhat one-sided text I wrote (I'll post it here as it would not surprise me if the whole "dialogue" got deleted):
But Mr Harper, suppose the coins ARE looted and smuggled? You seem to assume that no scrutiny is needed because none of them are. If you read the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CCPIA 1983) you will learn that these "import bans" you write about actually apply ONLY to coins that do not fall into the US (note that) definition of "lawfully exported". [This is a US definition, broader than that of the Convention itself, not that of any "foreign governments"].

"Once you become familiar with ACCG, perhaps you will be inclined to give this modern-day David a helping hand."

Why not look at the CCPIA and what it regulates and decide whether you really want the US to be a hotbed of trade in unlawfully exported (that is smuggled) coins from other countries. Or whether US collectors should take a moral lead and say 'no' to supporting criminal activity.

Or if you and your readers are willing to buy and sell and collect unlawfully exported ancient coins, would you advocate supporting the open trade in smuggled goods of other types too? Maybe you think Customs restrictions in general should be lifted? Where do you draw the line - do you think it is just coin collectors who should be the exception?
So far the only answer from tens of thousands of coin collectors in the US is the invitation from the anonymous collector to post my comments somewhere else. Now, would that be Grand Junction Coins (a Heritage Auction-sponsored firm) or maybe the Gobrecht Journal? Or somebody else?

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