A few days ago I had the pleasure to read an article in the new york times on the concept of cultural patrimony. as you probably know already, the trade in antiquities is a controversial topic and while the coins we collect may be at the bottom rung of this geopolitical totem pole they're still an integral part of the subject.
a number of european nations would love to not simply outlaw the trade in ancient coins but, if given half a chance, go a step further and recover the ones already in private collections (and presumably some in public collections too). italy is currently seeking to renew restrictions on the import of antiquities into the U.S. which, on the surface, appears agreeable enough were it not for the fact that they're trying to piggyback an addendum to include ancient coins as a new restricted class. the archaeological institute of america (see http://www.archaeological.org/webinfo.php?page=10573
) is helping to channel italy's request in the matter. on the other side of the spectrum, another u.s.-based group by the initials ACCG (http://www.accg.us/
) has been spearheading efforts to derail AIA's momentum. the outcome of the standoff is yet unclear but however it turns out is sure to be of interest to all of us who collect.