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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 40, October 1, 2006, Article 18

SAYLES SPEAKS AGAINST DEPT. OF STATE POSITION ON ANCIENT COINS

In a blog posting September 29, ancient coin expert and author Wayne
Sayles spoke against the U.S. Department of State's position regarding
the importation of ancient artifacts, including coins.  Sayles believes
the Department's position imperils educational programs revolving
around ancient coins.  Sayles cites the non-profit support group
Ancient Coins for Education (ACE) and others:

"The involvement of collector organizations in education, particularly
in youth programs, is not a new development. The American Numismatic
Association (ANA) sponsors a "Coins in the Classroom" program that
is geared toward exposing teachers to the educational value of coins.
The ANA also hosts a Roman Coin project that encourages and rewards
young collectors and holds a series of summer seminars each year at
its Colorado Springs headquarters that is open to young and old alike.
The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG), a non-profit advocacy group
for the hobby, supports both the ACE and the ANA programs, as well
as initiatives of its own, through its Education and Youth Programs
Task Force. The combined membership of these organizations includes
almost 50,000 coin collectors.

In stark contrast to this altruistic effort, the U.S. State Department
has taken a stance that threatens the very existence of these programs.
With passage of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act
in 1983, the department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
(ECA) became the central decision making point for matters falling
under the purview of a 1970 UNESCO convention. One of the provisions
of that act is a process by which the State Department can recommend,
and the President can impose, emergency import restrictions on objects
defined as cultural property. In reality, the UNESCO convention's
description of cultural property is so broad that it encompasses
virtually anything manufactured by human beings more than 100 years ago."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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