Thursday, May 5, 2011

Posters No Substitute for Publication Efforts

Coins Weekly is advertising a call for posters to publicise the theme of “Numismatics and Archaeology: coins, stratigraphies and contexts” at a conference being held in Italy. See

But posters are no substitute for actual publication efforts. During consideration of the renewal of the Italian MOU, the numismatic trade presented to CPAC a report cataloguing in detail Italy's poor stewardship of the coins already in State collections. For instance, a very cursory survey of Italian museums reveals at least 27 institutions with respectable numismatic holdings, but which have failed to publish full catalogues of even part of them.

It's even my understanding that no one has ever gotten around to publishing the coins excavated in Rome even before Italy became a unified nation-- some 150 years ago!

In my opinion, it is cynical in the extreme to claim as archaeologists have that import restrictions on "coins of Italian type" are necessary to further numismatic research when Italy's record in that regard is so poor and will certainly not improve anytime soon given the extreme budgetary pressures facing Italy's cultural establishment.

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