Re: [Unidroit-L] FW: [Ancient and Medieval Coins] Re: FW: Unidroit-L reaches ...
- In a message dated 6/1/2004 9:30:23 AM Central America Standard Time, dwelsh46@... writes:
From: dwelsh46 [mailto:dwelsh46@...]
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 7:45 AM
Subject: RE: [Ancient and Medieval Coins] Re: FW: Unidroit-L reaches a
Milestone - 100 listmembers!
>From: Jim [mailto:krisjim@...]
>Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 1:40 AM
>Subject: [Ancient and Medieval Coins] Re: FW: Unidroit-L
>reaches a Milestone - 100 listmembers!
>Keep up the good work Dave, we need more minutemen like you. Perhaps
>the time has come as Wayne Sayles has suggested to form a PAC to fight
>it. Yeah, yeah, I know you are just facilitating a neutral discussion
>group but most of collectors and dealers want it done away with or at
>least not enacted in it's extremely broad form on any of our
The Unidroit-L discussion list is not really a neutral discussion group. It
is a critical discussion group, and there is a significant difference.
Although I do my best to be evenhanded and objective in facilitating the
group, I don't want anyone to be under the illusion that I like the Unidroit
convention. However, it does exist and its existence may become much more
important to collectors and dealers in the near future. Therefore, it
behooves us to understand it better.
>I mean if they find Uther Pendragon's Round table or Cleopatra's
>jewelry collection, please, put it in a museum - but terra cotta oil
>lamps, faience scarabs and coins are common enough that if forbid
>someone overclean an antoninianus of Gordianus III - the Boston Museum
>of Fine Arts won't crumble into the ocean, much less the
The real problem for collectors is not the Unidroit convention, and it is
not even the museum security people like Ton Cremers who are trying to
prevent art theft. It is the radical archaeologists headed by Lord Renfrew,
Ricardo Elia and the AIA who are out to convince the world that the past
belongs to archaeologists, and who believe and incessantly preach that
private ownership of any kind of antiquities is immoral. They have made a
lot of progress in selling this message to the public, because no one has
organized to oppose them.
If collectors and dealers have enough interest in preserving their hobby to
organize and fight for it, I believe that the proper target should be the
archaeologists and their message that the past belongs to them. Actually,
they present this to the public as "the past belongs to everyone," but when
details of their message are examined it is quite clear that it really means
that the past belongs to archaeologists, and the public will then be allowed
to see whatever part of it the archaeologists think fit to show them.
One thing that has occurred to me is that in advocating the abolition of
private ownership of antiquities, archaeologists are engaging in a political
activity. It would be very interesting to see these activities come under
critical scrutiny to determine whether they are in fact carrying on
political activities, when their salaries and expenses are being paid for by
public funding, or by foundations and other non-profit institutions whose
charters may not allow political activities.