in Culture

Success! Cypriot coins added to ban

At the end of January, a friend of mine working in Athens emailed me to alert me to a campaign to add Cypriot coins to the agreement with Cyprus that had come up for renewal. The agreement restricts the import into the United States of undocumented archaeological materials from Cyprus, but did not include coins. So I emailed the Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the U.S. Department of State, who solicited comments from interested parties about whether or not to add coins to the agreement. Several archaeological organizations encouraged their members to email the committee, and a number of archaeology professors in my school encouraged students individually.
Because of my interest in coins, I am on the mailing list of at least two coin sellers. They each sent emails to their clients, urging them to email the committee and request that coins be kept off the agreement. They stated that the archaeological organizations were rallying their members (as they were) and that these archaeologists were trying to stop the sale of antiquities (including coins) on a large scale (which they are). They warned their clients that their hobby was at risk.
Well, Dennis sent me a link to an article at (now no longer available online) stating that coins were included in the agreement, and that the “State Department was barraged by letters from personalities of the archaeological and arts world” and I must admit that I got a little swell of pride– one of those was mine!

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