The Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) heard public comment on September 8, 2005 regarding Italy's request to extend the existing restrictions on importation of certain cultural property from that country.
The Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) heard public comment on September 8, 2005 regarding Italy's request to extend the existing restrictions on importation of certain cultural property from that country. The original restrictions were imposed by the State Department in 2001 but ancient coins were exempt from those restrictions. At the September hearing, some members of the archaeological community argued that coins should be included in the list of restricted items. The ACCG, along with several other numismatic organizations and hundreds of private collectors, argued that coins should remain exempt.
On January 19, 2006 a decision on this request was announced. The following is an excerpt from that announcement in the Federal Register: "After reviewing the findings and recommendations of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, the Assistant Secretary for Educational
and Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State, concluding that the cultural heritage of Italy continues to be in jeopardy from pillage of archaeological material representing the pre-Classical, Classical, and Imperial Roman periods, made the necessary determination to extend the import restrictions for an additional five years on December 5, 2005. Accordingly, CBP is amending 19 CFR 12.104g(a) to
indicate the extension of the import restrictions.
The Designated List of Archaeological Material Originating in Italy and Representing the pre-Classical, Classical, and Imperial Roman periods of Italy covered by these import restrictions is set forth in T.D. 01-06. The Designated List and accompanying image database may also be found at the following internet website address: http://exchanges.state.gov/culprop/it01fr01.html ."
The decision by the U.S. State Department not to add coins to the Designated List of Archaeological Material is of major importance to private collectors. Peter K. Tompa, in summarizing the reasons for success in this effort noted that the "large number of comments received from coin collectors in the very short time allotted for comment showed we care." (More than 550 collectors sent faxes to CPAC through the ACCG Fax Wizard campaign.) He went on to say "the decision in effect rejects the claim that coins are culturally significant artifacts that should be restricted because they may be of use in some circumstances in dating archaeological stratum. Rather, the decision shows that interests of collectors, coin dealers and museums have greater weight as far as coins are concerned." Tompa is leader of the ACCG Legislative Affairs Task Force and a lobbyist on cultural property issues for the International Association of Professional Numismatists and the Professional Numismatists Guild.