Bob Van Arsdell writes:
"The ANA forwarded a State Department form for submitting comments on the restriction of imports of Roman Coins. By the time anyone sees this, it will be too late to react. The following is my submission; I managed to get it in under the deadline."
I am a numismatic researcher and published author. My book “Celtic Coinage of Britain” won the 1990 IAPN “Book of the Year” award - the first book by an American author to win the international prize for numismatic literature. I am also the author of the website “Celtic Coinage of Britain - the international site for Ancient British numismatic information - provided free as a public service. I currently publish numismatic research on this site and have published almost 100 works since 1980.
My research and publication stream depend on easy access to Roman Republican coins for study and research. These are extremely common coins and I cannot believe any museum would care to incur the costs for storing and curating all of them.
I am adamantly opposed to limitations on the import, sale and private ownership of these common objects. Such limitations would prevent me from further research, publication and furtherance of knowledge of ancient societies amongst the general American public, not to mention the thousands of people overseas who access the Celtic Coinage of Britain website every month - at no cost.
I urge you to reject further limitations on the import, sale and collecting of ancient coins, and Roman coins, specifically.
Thank you for your consideration,
Robert D. Van Arsdell
"I think we all need to take a stand.
"The next step will be to outlaw the sale of Colonial Coins as “culturally significant objects” (too important for the general public to hold). The second part's always there in invisible text, you just aren't allowed to see it unless you know the code."
There were two related articles in last week's E-Sylum. One was on this Roman coinage issue; the other was Ron Guth's article on how cultural and political sentiments could lead to changes in U.S. coin designs and perhaps even the ability to collect, research, write about or publish images of coins with out-of-favor designs.
Good intentions can lead down a slippery slope of drastic consequences (usually ones unseen by those ultimately affected until it's far too late to do anything). Here's a non-numismatic section of Ron's article that echoes Bob's point about taking a stand.
Our current situation reminds me of a version of quotes from the German Lutheran pastor, Martin Niemoeller:
“They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
To read Ron's complete blog article, see:
First They Came For The Statues...
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
HELP SAVE ROMAN IMPERIAL COIN COLLECTING
U.S. COIN DESIGNS: YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW??
Wayne Homren, Editor
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