Before I begin today’s missive, please read the story I wrote about my friends who were arrested at the airport of a foreign country after digging up the $20 worth of ancients coins they found on a beach while playing in the sand. Go ahead… (click here) I’ll wait!
It is difficult to ignore the law of unintended consequences of Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA; 19 U.S.C. §§ 2601 et seq.) and how it is implementation by the State Department’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC). Unfortunately, they are at it again.
CPAC will hold meetings on June 2-4, 2014 to review a new cultural property request from the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt seeking import restrictions on archaeological and ethnological material. As with all of the other Memos of Understand (MOU), it will include ancient coins, even those that are common for ancient collectors and will also contain fuzzy language to make it look like Egypt could try to seek the return of undocumented items no matter when they were purchased.
The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG) needs your help to make sure that the MOU between the United States and the Arab Republic of Egypt does not turn ancient coin collecting into a hobby where collectors have to look over their shoulders to watch out for foreign agents looking to confiscate their collections. This is not conspiracy theory talk. It has actually happened. Read the account by Patrick Heller in this article printed in Numismatic News (see the paragraph beginning with “Number four….”).
I ask that you support the ACCG and its efforts to prevent the government overreach into coin collecting by asking the State Department to “Exempt Ancient Coins” in whatever words or with whatever reasons you wish to offer. All you have to do is go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=DOS-2014-0008 and click on the blue “Comment Now” button on the right side of the page.
Comments are due by WEDNESDAY, May 14, 2014 before midnight.
Your effort is important and will be very much appreciated by the ACCG and the entire collecting community.