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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 6, February 5, 2006, Article 9

NEW ZEALAND MEDAL EXPORTS STIR CONTROVERSY

A February 5th article from New Zealand highlight the laws of
that country regarding the export of medals and a local
collector's problem in exporting a collection of the medals
for sale abroad.

"A collector seeking to export New Zealand war medals has
accused the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of institutional
racism for treating only medals won by Maori as taonga.

Last year Auckland collector Aubrey Bairstow applied to the
ministry for certificates to export his collection of about
140 medals, dating from the 1840s-70s, as required by the
Antiquities Act.

He bought most of the medals overseas and offered them to
New Zealand museums before seeking to export them, but
found no takers.

Bairstow said he was told he could not export medals rewarded
to members of the "Native Contingent"- Maori who fought on the
Crown's side - but was permitted to sell identical medals
awarded to European soldiers in New Zealand."

"The Antiquities Act 1975 requires the ministry to consider
the historical, archaeological, scientific, cultural, literary,
artistic, or other special national or local importance of
items, and their spiritual or emotional association with the
people of New Zealand, or any group within New Zealand."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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