I tried posting this yesterday but it doesn't seem to have gone
through. I am sending the message on behalf of the Archaeological
Institute of America's new President C. Brian Rose.
Please note that letters must be emailed or faxed to the
addresses/numbers provided at the bottom of the message.
Jane C. Waldbaum
Past President, AIA
URGENT REQUEST (January 28, 2007)
Archaeological Value of Coins Questioned
The Cultural Property Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of
State is asking for additional public comment on the inclusion of
ancient coins in the Cypriot request for import restrictions.
The United States and Cyprus have had a bilateral agreement for almost
five years that restricts the import into the United States of
undocumented archaeological materials from Cyprus. The Cultural
Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) in the U.S. Department of State
considered extension of this agreement on Thursday and Friday, January
25 and 26 (see the AIA's letter in support of this request on the
AIA's website: www.archaeological.org)).
The question of whether coins should be included in the new agreement
arose, and the Committee is now seeking public comment on whether
coins should be included.
Cyprus has asked that coins be included because it considers coins to
have considerable archaeological significance when found in context,
and, like other such materials, they are vulnerable to pillage and
illegal export. The proposal is to include in the new bilateral
agreement coins found in Cyprus that are more than 250 years old.
CPAC has asked for public comment on the inclusion of coins in the
agreement, and is now accepting letters supporting (or opposing) the
inclusion of coins. The deadline of Monday, February 5, for them to
receive letters is very short. We urge those who care about this issue
to email or fax letters supporting the inclusion of coins.
Your letters should address some or all of the following points:
1. Are coins part of a country's cultural patrimony and does the
looting of coins jeopardize a country's cultural patrimony?
2. Is scientific excavation of coins important to archaeology and
the reconstruction of social, political, and economic history?
3. Does the search for coins to sell on the market destroy sites
and archaeological context (and therefore jeopardize the country's
cultural patrimony) through metal detecting and other looting activities?
4. Specific points based on personal experience and specific
examples involving Cypriot coins would be particularly helpful.
The deadline for submitting a letter is Monday, February 5. Letters
must be either faxed or sent by email to the Committee at the address
Cultural Property Advisory Committee
Cultural Heritage Center
U.S. Department of State
301 4th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20547
Fax: (202) 453-8803