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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 29, July 22, 2007, Article 21

U.S. IMPOSES RESTRICTIONS ON IMPORTING CYPRIOT COINS

The New York Times reported this week on the latest development in
the tug of war between over the importing of ancient coins into the
United States.

"In a move that some coin collectors fear could eventually make it
difficult to pursue their passion, the United States government has
imposed import restrictions on ancient coins from Cyprus. It is the
first time the United States has limited trade in a broad category
of coins as part of an effort to guard the cultural heritage of
another country.

"The new rules, which were adopted last week and went into effect
on Monday, would essentially bar the importation of any ancient coin
from Cyprus unless authorized by the Cypriot government. The limits
are part of a broader agreement between the United States and the
Republic of Cyprus to extend for five years existing restrictions
on the import of pre-classical, classical and Byzantine art and
artifacts from the island.

"Cyprus has said the restrictions are necessary to combat the looting
of cultural and archaeological sites, particularly in the northern
part of the island, which has been divided from the south since Turkey
invaded in 1974.

"“We are very pleased coins have been added to this,” said Cyprus’s
ambassador to Washington, Andreas Kakouris. “Coins constitute an
inseparable part of our own cultural heritage, and the pillage they
are subjected to is the same as other archaeological material.”

"Numismatic associations had argued before a State Department
advisory committee that import restrictions on ancient coins could
not fairly be enforced. Coins minted in Cyprus were found throughout
the ancient world, the collectors asserted. They said it would be
impossible for customs officials to determine whether a coin came
from Cyprus or elsewhere and whether it had been legitimately
excavated."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

The following details appeared in the Federal Register last Friday,
July 13, 2007:

"The Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, United
States Department of State, has determined that conditions continue
to warrant the imposition of import restrictions. Accordingly, the
restrictions will remain in effect for an additional 5 years..."

"Note that one subcategory, Coins of Cypriot Types, has been added
to the category entitled Metal.  EFFECTIVE DATE: July 16, 2007."

"Coins of Cypriot types made of gold, silver, and bronze including
but not limited to:

1. Issues of the ancient kingdoms of Amathus, Kition, Kourion,
Idalion, Lapethos, Marion, Paphos, Soli, and Salamis dating from the
end of the 6th century B.C. to 332 B.C.

2. Issues of the Hellenistic period, such as those of Paphos, Salamis,
and Kition from 332 B.C. to c. 30 B.C.

3. Provincial and local issues of the Roman period from c. 30 B.C. to
235 A.D. Often these have a bust or head on one side and the image of
a temple (the Temple of Aphrodite at Palaipaphos) or statue (statue
of Zeus Salaminios) on the other."

To read the Federal Register for Friday, July 13, 2007, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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