Sunday 26 July 2015

Why Coins Matter

Bearing in mind the efforts of German, US and UK dealers to try and get antiquities collectors to sign up in large numbers to a petition saying effectively "we do not mind buying dodgy stuff, no due diligence for us please", it is worth returning to the article published on SAFE a while ago, in which our colleague explains how he stopped collecting coins because he recognized the damage the market does: Nathan Elkins, 'Why coins matter: Trafficking in undocumented and illegally exported ancient coins in the North American marketplace', SAFE Corner 8th August 2008. He's since been personally attacked for this, but in seven years no dealer or collector has offered a word of refutation of the basic truths this text contains.

Vignette: Collectables or historical source


Cultural Property Observer said...

You have neglected my article in the ANS Magazine that responds to such claims and makes concrete proposals to address the real issues:

Paul Barford said...

Mr Tompa, I am sorry but it seems you have not the foggiest idea what is required of a text to be an answer to what Professor Elkins presented. Your ANS article is a lobbyist's "defence of the hobby" and not an actual answer to Elkins' original article (indeed apparently makes no explicit reference to it).

I find it utterly pathetic that your "concrete proposals" in your superficial ANS article are in complete contrast to what you gave just a few days ago as the justification of signing an anti-due-diligence petition because it is "impossible" for German collectors (you mean dealers, don't you?) to do what you said to the ANS was necessary. I suggest you get your ideas sorted out before you try to tell others what's what Mr Tompa. At the moment your pursuit of the IAPN dollar seems to have addled your thinking (I use the term loosely).

By the way it must be galling to see that, although Ms Kampmann gave the actual details of what the proposed new law contains with none of the alarmist made-up stuff that US lobbyists use, the response has been astronomically higher than anything you as a lobbyist could ever achieve in the US despite the population being so much higher. Perhaps it is time for you to change tactics, try the plain truth in place of sky-is-falling nonsense and personal attacks. It is at least a lot more dignified.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Thank you for your views. Of course, the ANS did not think my article "superficial" and I am grateful for them publishing it. As for the German legislation, I linked to the NY Times article about it which detailed the draconian nature of it. Enough said. And, good for the German dealers getting collectors engaged. I would note, however, that this is a petition, which is far easier to sign than navigating the website. Also, import restrictions limit supply in the US and this proposal if it goes through unchanged will ultimately impact the ability of Germans to sell their collections. The real issue is that this German proposal was designed behind closed doors only consulting anti-trade archaeologists apparently. I suspect if the commercially reasonable suggestions I proposed in my article were adopted instead, there would be no outcry.

Paul Barford said...

"Of course, the ANS did not think my article "superficial" ..."
of course, coineys. It is nevertheless not an answer to what Elkins wrote.

In the text to which I refer, you linked to Kampmann's text. Please don't play games with my readers.

The above text was a recommendation for my readers of Elkins' article, why do you insist on going on about your superficial lobbying rubbish? Your suggestions were and are useless as a means of dealing with the problem in hand. I have pointed that out on this blog repeatedly and still you keep dragging them out without modification and refusing to discuss the problems properly.

Have the IAPN proposed your "commercially reasonable suggestions" to the German authorities? What did they say?

Paul Barford said...

"The real issue is that this German proposal was designed behind closed doors only consulting anti-trade archaeologists apparently" .

As I repeatedly say, this is going to happen more and more often as collectors continue to avoid participation in and alienate themselves from the heritage debate. Reap the harvest of many years total intransigence and one-sided "lobbying".

The people proposing these measures are not "anti-trade", but oppose the form of trade which is permeable to illicit antiquities.

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