Thursday 19 March 2015

Coiney Lawyer "Let's Rumble...."

The Times, in an article "Antiquities looted by Islamic State turn up on eBay", published a picture of a random eBay coin auction with a caption suggesting the coin it depicted had been looted in Syria by ISIL. The Mail repeated it, adding a second coin sold by the same US dealer as another alleged product of ISIL looting merely because it had been minted in Apamea. I suggested that the dealer concerned really should take the papers to the court over such an unsubstantiated allegation and employ ACCG's ace-attorney Peter Tompa to do the talking. It seems the dealer is keen to take up the one suggestion but avoided the other. His lawyer (Michael E. Bierman, Esq) has issued a statement denying the accusations, though the dealer is not revealing his name and refuses to release at this stage the collecting history of the coins involved ("My client has proof of lawful purchase and ownership, which I have examined and confirmed myself. The coins have been in the United States longer than the “ISIS” construct has existed"). The statement can be found on Sam Hardy's blog ('Islamic State-looted antiquities on eBay? ‘The stories are absolutely false and defamatory'). It ends "We are in the beginnings of actively initiating multiple libel actions".   It is funny how the dealers claim it is "impossible" to give their coins a collecting history, as they've lost all documentation, but when they want to, they can find enough documentation to prove lawful purchase and title. We look forward to hearing about it. A point of interest, Michael E. Bierman Esq is himself, it would appear, an ancient coin collector.

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