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Why you should care about restrictions on collecting ancient coins

April 10, 2013 in Ancient Coins, Antique Coins, Coins, Collecting, Foreign Policy, Numismatica, Numismatics, Petitions, Rare Coins, World Coins

April 8th, 2013 (http://coinsblog.ws) (blog by Scott)

In a test lawsuit filed by the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG), the group sued the federal government over the granting of import restrictions and confiscation of coins that foreign government have declared cultural property. The suit filed by ACCG challenges recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State Department and the cultural regulators of Cypress and China under the Convention on Cultural Property. On March 25, 2013, the case that ACCG appealed to the Supreme Court was denied a hearing (petition for certiorari).

Over the last few years, the Coin Collectors Blog has asked readers to signvarious petitions and write to the Department of State to stop restrictions on ancient coins. To understand why this is necessary, we have to understand why this is happening.

For a country to request import restrictions and confiscation of cultural property, they are required to send a letter to the State Department asking the United States to enter into an MOU to restrict the import and export of what the asking country considers cultural property as defined by the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970, often called the 1970 UNESCO Convention. The purpose of the the treaty was to stop archaeological pillaging and trafficking in cultural property. In other words, it would significantly hamper the career of Indiana Jones.

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