Friday, February 08, 2013

More from Barford about ACCG

In a recent blog post, Polish Archaeologist Paul Barford has offered yet another in a heartwarming string of compliments directed at the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild.  Noting that the ACCG did not comment at the Cambodia MOU hearing, Barford says: "What a difference not having the ACCG going on at the CPAC makes, after the closing of the public consultation period, there was a grand total of 37 results for "DOS-2012-0063"... This does not exactly suggest that as a nation the citizens of the USA are all that concerned...".

It may well be true in the U.S. that ancient coin collectors are more concerned than the general public about cultural property law violations, both by looters and by government administrators.  Collectors are typically passionate about their interests and the ACCG is no exception.  How many private citizens of ANY country woud dedicate as much time and energy to the preservation of longstanding rights and freedoms?  Mr. Barford has undoubtedly seen his share of repression and the fact that he would publicly recognize the sincerity of ACCG and its members in their uphill battle against bureaucratic tyranny is most gracious.

What Mr. Barford may not fully understand is that the ACCG does not oppose the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act and never has.  What the guild opposes is the blatant disregard for provisions of that law by administrators who are charged with its implementation.  Consequently, the guild does not typically comment on MOU requests that lie outside of its area of specific knowledge and concern.


Cultural Property Observer said...

It seems wrong that dealers can go to jail for misrepresntations on a customs form, but state department bureaucrats can mislead Congress and the public about CPAC's recommendations on coins and yet have no repercussions whatsoever. What's more serious, lying about the value of an artifact on some obscure form or lying to Congress on an official report?

Wayne G. Sayles said...

Now that you mention it, I seem to recall a few government officials who got free meals and laundry in the Big House for telling fibs to Congress. One would think that bureaucrats would be inclined not to do that. Alas, some people just don't get the message. Maybe they feel immune since the courts so seldom hold them accountable and Congress is hopelessly gridlocked. The slippery slope of immunity is that you never know when it might end.