Monday, 25 March 2019

A lot of collectors get angry about it: Jordan/US MOU proposal

More coiney bleating
This is quite enlightening, its from Daryl Rhoades II, U.S.A. Ohio 'Collector of Roman Imperial, Roman Provincial, Byzantine, Greek, Judaean, Nabataean, etc. ancient coins' and its about the Jordanian MOU request (last day today to comment, folks)
I have a handful of Nabataean, Judaean and many other type ancient coins found in that region. I really like collecting these coins and have many in my online photo galleries. I like having detailed descriptions so I had to do a lot of research to learn how to read and display the scripts found on coins. Still a work in progress. This is how I study and contribute to the community as many others do with websites.

I am somewhat familiar with UNESCO cultural property law (Sic!) and I have a copy of the Handbook of Cultural Property that I use as a guide, as to what countries I can shop from. The information is very outdated, pre 1986. As it says for Jordan, All movable and immovable objects subject to export control and pre 1700 are antiquities and subject to the control of the department of antiquities and approval by the minister. I believe it means you need a license and approval to export any antiquity before 1700 AD. If you cannot get approval then it will be illegal to export out of Jordan and subject to a penalty of a fine and possible imprisonment for up to two years.

I'm not sure what the point is for this new law because antiquities that are illegal are already filtered at customs points at USPS and other facilities. I've heard of collectors and dealers losing coins but not too often. I do not buy from Jordan because I don't want to lose the coins that I ordered and any other problem. Lots of educated collectors and dealers know where to buy from.

I do understand protecting cultural property, but I think this MOU is overkill, with all due respect. Because ancient coins are found all over and outside of any registered historic site. These laws restrict common items which I think is unreasonable. Some countries have itemization lists which is selective but doesn't restrict all artifacts and coins. I find this to be a much more reasonable approach.

A lot of collectors get angry about it because we ancient coin collectors are not criminals and don't want to share a cell with other convicts or get our coins confiscated.
And so buyers caught with looted and smuggled items should get a spacious cell all on their own? If a buyer is happy acquiring coins and so on 'not from Jordan', why are they protesting about measures to enable tightening up the flow of illicit artefacts from Jordan without the pieces of paper that would legitimate them?

Propaganda (1984)
I wonder whether these collectors, most of them cutting and pasting what Peter Tompa tells them to say rather than thinking things through for themselves, actually take the time to read the other contributions - particularly those that actually take a wider view than that of the greedy collector bleating in unison the same message. Several of the Jordanian MOU public comments refer to the  context of the activity - the smuggling and selling of the coins, but go back to the supply of that market. Then it is not of any relevance whether the dug-up items are "common items" or that were made somewhere else from where they were deposited. the problem is the portableising of these antiquities and the damage that is done to sites by that process. I really do not see what the problem is that is preventing US collectors for seeing that - apart from the fact that many of them are clearly too dumb to actually do the research on more than 'how to read and display the pictures found on coins' to produce the appearance of erudition. How much of that too is cut-and-paste? But to 'contribute to the community', coineys really do need to get to grips with what the wider community is saying. Otherwise they will be left bleating and braying at the edge of the field. 

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