The State Department will further postpone any decision on the request from China for cultural property import restrictions. Collector, Museum and Trade groups opposing this request see this as an encouraging development. The following report is submitted by Peter K. Tompa.
Congressional sources have confirmed that any final decision on import restrictions on Chinese cultural artifacts has been postponed until 2007, at the earliest. The US Cultural Property Advisory Committee received public comment on the proposed restrictions in February 2005. Since that time, members of the museum, collector and antiquities and coin dealer communities have expressed concerns not only about the scope of the request, which is said to include coins, but also as to whether the State Department has followed proper procedures in processing the request. Senators Kit Bond (R-Mo), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa) as well as Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-46th Dist.Cal) have all been instrumental in bringing these concerns to the attention of the highest levels at the State Department. Their personal intervention most likely explains the State Department’s decision to delay a final decision in the matter.
The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, the International Association of Professional Numismatists, and the Professional Numismatists Guild have led the hobbies’ efforts arguing against the extension of import restrictions to coins.