Friday 9 December 2016

To Whose Benefit?

Steve Roach, Coin World has a very derivative article on 'New restrictions on coins minted within Egypt include widely circulated Roman Egyptian pieces' (12/09/16) in which he writes:
the assistant secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State, made the determinations for import restrictions, following guidelines established in 1983’s Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act. First, it was determined that the cultural patrimony of Egypt is in jeopardy from the pillage of archaeological material from a broad swath of its history. Second, it found that the Egyptian government had taken measures to protect its cultural property and that import restrictions imposed by the United States would be of substantial help in deterring a serious situation of pillage and that less drastic remedies are not available. Finally, the State Department determined that the import restrictions are consistent with the general interests of the international community in the interchange of cultural property among nations for scientific, cultural, and educational purposes.
So that raises the question why one small minority group within the broader US population so vehemently protesting the moves to clean up the US market and opposing the efforts made to keep smuggled coins and loot off it. We note that the protests are led by the dealers who profit from the trade in dugup antiquities.

Vignette: possibly not all US collectors of dugup ancient coins are unreflexive anti-preservationist roaches, but the ones who are get the whole hobby a bad name.

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