Thursday, February 16, 2012

Athens Coin Collections Under Attack

It appears that Greece's two major coin collections, those of the Alpha Bank and National Numismatic Collection, were subject to attack during the recent spate of rioting, but they are probably safe for now.

First, the ground floor of the Alpha Bank was set ablaze, but hopefully the coin collection on the eight floor of an adjacent building is still secure.

Second, there was also apparently an attack on the Government Numismatic Museum in the old Schliemann mansion, but hopefully the collection is safe behind security.

Recently, the State Department Bureau of Educational Affairs and US Customs imposed import restrictions on undocumented ancient Greek coins. Any coins that are forfeited under these regulations will go back to an uncertain future in Greece.

Archaeological bloggers remain in a state of denial about the implications of all this. And the State Department and US Customs presumably could care less about what they have wrought.


Paul Barford said...

safer in America, eh?

thankfully metal objects like coins do not burn so easily as the USA's much more perishable cultural property.

When will we see here more "cultural property observations" about events closer to home, the ANS thefts for example?

Cultural Property Observer said...

You are in denial. The reason this is relevant is not only that Greece is a mess, but that the Greek Government, DOS, CBP and the archaeology over all types claim that undocumented Greek artifacts should be repatriated back to Greece. It used to said this was done so they could be studied back in their Greek context, but as illogical as that was then, it is downright foolish now.

Dave Welsh said...

Paul Barford said...

safer in America, eh?


Safer in the hands of expert US collectors, who would properly care for these ancient coins, and would study them and publish their scholarly findings as they have done for more than a century.

The extent of scientific research in numismatics published by collectors far exceeds everything on that subject published by archaeologists and the institutions with which they are associated.