Tuesday, 17 March 2015

"Coin World" Editor Confuses Readers

Coin World editor Steve Roach is trying to "master the skill (and art) of readable numismatic writing" and attempts to discuss "Balancing cultural property protection and private collecting" as only a coiney can. The first two paragraphs however plumb the depths of his reflection on the topic. There we find the statement: "the possibility of the extension of the MOU between the United States and Italy that includes Roman Imperial coins is very real". Since it is not, those (including thinking coineys) who do not suffer fools gladly may care to stop reading right there. This is unreflexive idiocy, and indicates that its author has no idea at all how the import regulations are intended to work.

The rest of Mr Roach's text is an unthinking compilation of the usual tropes:
- negative impact on the US market for ancient coins, 
- ancient coins enjoyed wide circulation
 - MOUs discriminate against collectors in the United States
- a pontifical Peter Tompa quote (“It has never made sense ...")
- large, open and legal internal market
- much numismatic scholarship is the result of private collectors
- impossible to determine whether a particular coin was discovered within Italy [he forgot the word "first"] But adds something from himself - always dangerous if you are a coiney - "it’s challenging to prove a given coin was illegally excavated from a specific site".

American collectors in particular find it pretty impossible (too many words? Not written with the reading skills of coineys in mind?) to work out that the CCPIA and 1970 UNESCO Convention are not about this. Let us note, once again, the name of the convention involved, it is not the 1970 "Convention on Cultural Property Protection" as Mr Roach wants to discuss it, it is the 1970 UNESCO "Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property". Mr Roach, first read, understand, and then write.

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