by Paul Barford
The accusation that many coineys with educations gained in US schools have fluff for brains seems to be increasingly confirmed by the flow of whingeing pseudo- ustifications which has recently been emerging from the milieu. Peter Tompa now asks: Do Import Restrictions Only Apply to "Illicitly Exported" Items?
Do MOU's only apply to "illicitly exported" artifacts as archaeo-blogger Paul Barford has claimed? No. In fact, import restrictions as applied by US Customs bar entry of coins openly and legitimately sold in markets abroad merely because they are of a type on a designated list.
Whoah, whoah. What is the CONNECTION between "openly and legitimately sold" within a country and "openly and legitimately exported"? None. As these clowns well know. The coiney lobbyist whinges on:
First, for coins coming directly from the country for which import restrictions are granted, there is an exception if they are accompanied with an export permit.
"OK, your starter for ten, fingers on the buzzers: "what do we call a coin exported from a country which has export restrictions which is accompanied by an export licence?"..." [buzzzz] "Yes, Oxford Magdalene, "licitly exported". That is the correct answer".
"Fingers on the buzzers, now what do we call a coin exported from a country which has export restrictions which has been taken out of the country without getting an export licence?" [buzzz] "No, I am sorry Wisconsin Numismatic Academy, the correct answer is "illicitly exported", bad luck".
"Fingers on the buzzers again, what is the correct legal term for a coin removed from a country which does not issue export licences and therefore has none? Anyone?" " [buzzz] "Yes, Wisconsin... No... no. No, the correct answer is that we call such a coin 'illicitly exported', or simply smuggled, bad luck again..." [raises eyebrow, discretely makes note to producer never to ask these peabrains back].
Three days later, the TV production company got an indignant letter from the
principal numismatist of the Wisconsin Coin Academy:
The import restrictions discussed on the programme are both illogical and themselves definitely illicit, according to the 1983 CCPIA implementing US accession to the 1970 UNESCO Convention. That [is a] very clear contravention of the terms of the CCPIA...
They ignored the letter as the writings of a madman of course.
Basically, if you have an antiquity of a type which is on the designated lists (which certainly contain many, many more categories than just a few scrappy coins) and you want to import it into the US either get the seller to obtain an export licence, or failing that as the CCPIA (19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) SECTION 2606. Import Restrictions, (a) Documentation of lawful exportation (note that title, Peter Tompa in particular) "unless the State Party issues a certification or other documentation which certifies that such exportation was not in violation of the laws of the State Party". Note
this has nothing to do with "open and legitimate sale within the country".
Neither has it anything in the least connected with its 'provenance' or collecting history. This is purely and simply about lawful export (note that title everybody, Peter Tompa in particular). All is not lost even if you've not got one of those, there is a get-out clause [2606(c)(1)(B)] "a statement provided by the consignor, or person who sold the material to the importer, which states the date, or, if not known, his belief, that the material was exported from the State Party not less than ten years before the date of entry into the United States, and the reasons on which the statement is based". Not even on oath, not even asking for any supporting material to be supplied. Basically scribbling down some (could be made-up) story of innocence. Now the reason the silly whingers are complaining about even this is that they reckon a fellow dealer scribbling such a note on a company letterhead would - they assert - cost "more than the coin itself". So who else except dumber-than-my-cat coineys would do business with a seller that would charge you an arm and a leg for putting down a few words on paper why the circumstances of the sale of these particular coins are not breaking the law? How much were Spinks charging to scribble a note about the coins seized in Baltimore on their way to the ACCG?
Emperor Barford seems to have tired of that role for the moment, and now seeks to misrepresent himself as a lawyer, despite the fact that his qualifications in that field are just as insignificant as his knowledge of ancient numismatics. Ignorance has never, however, stopped or even slowed down the ridiculous pretensions of this deluded fanatic.
As best I can understand this particular bit of fanciful drivel, he now describes distinguished cultural Property law expert Peter Tompa, whose activities in that field undoubtedly earn about ten times as much as Barford's current work as a document translator and who graduated from the Washington College of Law, American University (J.D. cum laude, 1986) and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (B.S.F.S. 1982). Let's see, Mr. Barford claims to hold a mere baccalaureate degree, which in the field of archaeology isn't much -- one is expected to have a doctorate if one wishes to be taken seriously, which Barford of course is not (by archaeologists at any rate).
Tompa on the other hand not only does hold a doctorate (cum laude at that) from a prestigious university, and has studied Foreign Service as a career field, he has a very solid track record of accomplishment in cultural property law, in which he is a well-regarded, multiply published and often cited authority.
Mr. Barford appears to be unable to open his mouth in discussing cultural property law (or anything other than archaeology, of which he does have solid knowledge) without instantly putting his foot in it, which at any rate would tend to somewhat diminish his incessant outpourings of irrational drivel. Also, come to think of it , that particular physical contortion does seem quite apt, in view of the nearby warm and dark place where his muddled head evidently rests.