Friday 20 June 2014

The ACCG Guys Want to Talk, but Nobody's Going to Listen

The ACCG Seven (photomontage), what do they bring to the table?

Nobody wants to listen to the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, Wayne Sayles plays the victim and complains:
 The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild has extended a standing offer to engage in serious discussions with archaeological community decision makers with an aim toward establishing manageable parameters in the legitimate trade. The hoped for response has not been forthcoming.
First of all which "archaeological community decision makers" has the ACCG approached, and in what form, and on whose behalf? Do they claim to speak for all dealers and collectors of antiquities engaged in the legitimate trade? Are these "archaeological community decision makers" in the US or - like the antiquities market - of a more global spread? Perhaps the ACCG given its interest in transparency might like to make a record of these overtures on their website. Does ACCG's new director, Doris Sayles take over responsibility for the "International Affairs Committee" vacated by Dealer Dave? Is she going to be negotiating with foreign archaeologists about what collectors and US dealers will do to avoid buying looted stuff on the international market?

More to the point, there is a long record of ACCG officers and members -  Dealer Dave, Sayles himself, John Hooker (at one time paid by the ACCG to write this stuff) and their legal beagle lobbyist Peter Tompa - being involved in a series of unrelenting attacks on archaeologists and ad hominem attacks on various archaeologists and others writing about heritage issues, a constant barrage of vilification. They also staged an illegal coin import stunt to try and force an anti-preservationist court case founded in part on loopy conspiracy theories of one of their lobbyists. Given that record, what makes them think anyone in their right mind would want to even listen to what they say on behalf of collectors, let alone enter any kind of consultation with them? In fact, why should anyone take ancient coin collectors at all seriously when this is the calibre of their spokespeople?

And anyone interested in following just what it is the ACCG coineys say they will offer, see David Knells' recent post and follow the hyperlinks to see where those 'discussions' would actually be likely actually to go (Friday, 20 June 2014, Old chestnuts from ACCG - only fit for roasting). I guess "establishing manageable parameters in the legitimate trade" is something that should be taken to a wider international forum than just the ACCG seven. I'd say let's inform and then harness public opinion about looting, and then the ACCG can go along, in the spirit of true democracy, with the verdict of public opinion on the current form of the antiquities trade and what it leads to.

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