Saturday 14 September 2013

Lamps Offered Direct from Beirut on US Coin Forum

If you log on to Forum Ancient Coins forum, you can find all sorts of things. In such could-not-care-less-company, you can even buy yourself antiquities straight from the source countries. The USA has no MOU with Lebanon, so I imagine no-questions-asked collectors will be interested in these six oil lamps from Beirut being sold by "Ali a3" (here and here). The forum owner Joe Sermarini, asked members what they thought of the lamps posted for sale on his website (September 12, 2013 , 07:48:34 am) "These were listed on the Members' Auction by a seller from Lebanon. No wisecracks or glib remarks, please. I question their authenticity and I am hope for a knowledgeable second opinion". Because what, he'll pull them down if they are fake? Anyhow he got a reply (Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 05:14:46 pm) [I've removed the hyperlinks to the dictionary-for-five-year-olds which is needed so the members - coineys after all - can understand difficult words like "lamp" and "Syria"]:
The first lamp (52519) is blatantly fake. The other five lamps (52517) *appear* from the image to be authentic Levantine artefacts, ranging 3rd - 6th centuries AD. But of course it is illegal to ship antiquities from Lebanon without an Export Licence (Lebanon customs regulations). Does the seller have one? This should be mentioned in the auction details. Plus there is an ethical dimension. Many of the antiquities being looted to finance BOTH sides in the current civil war (and its atrocities) in Syria are being smuggled through Lebanon ('Lebanon seizes artifacts smuggled from Syria' ). Where did the lamps come from and how recently?
Good question. Well, let us note that after that appeared, two bidders continued to bid for these items: one "Zozo1" and a "FernandoL". So why do American coin dealers (and assorted collectors) ignore even the most blatant illegalities? Surely shipping antiquities from Lebanon would raise one or two red flags on a forum full of responsible collectors? So where did these items come from? Were they dug up in Lebanon or Syria? When, how? How did the end up in Beirut?  Do Bozo and Fernando care? And if somebody on this Forum list were to protest once or twice about this kind of thing, how soon would it be before they are banned for "anticollecting posts"?

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.