Sunday 19 April 2015

Dealer: "We Takes the Stuff we Wants"

It is always worth glancing at Heritage Actions HJ "Snippets". Short, snappy, to the point, not requiring much reading and always making a good point in the heritage debate. The latest talks of the neo-colonialist attitudes of a certain area of the antiquities trade:

Wow! US coin dealer reveals scary attitude!
An American coin dealer has just said something remarkable… “this observer sees great merit in recasting US heritage enforcement policy to refuse import restriction requests from states that do not make a very serious effort to enforce heritage protection laws within their borders.”  Anyone who isn’t one of his customers will have little difficulty in seeing that he’s saying …. if things aren’t protected in a country let me and my colleagues buy that unprotected stuff without having to establish if it’s stolen”. Charming! And bear in mind, Britain is one of those countries that do not make a very serious effort to enforce heritage protection laws (how can it be otherwise when portable antiquities policies are only voluntary and most detectorists don’t co-operate?) so what he’s saying is that he “sees great merit” in him importing British detecting finds on a no-questions-asked basis!  Well there’s a surprise! Not.
UPDATE 21st April 2015
Wow again! The same coin dealer has just announced to the world that he stands alongside the scuddy yob we first heard say, exactly ten years ago at a near-Avebury rally: “It’s legal innit!” Here’s his version: “Illegal – in this blog – means “in violation of the laws of the United States.” So if you think it’s probably just been stolen abroad but it can’t actually be proved to be so in the States, it’s definitely fine to trade in. Moral pigmyism innit?

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