The Art Newspaper (Oct. 2012) has published an article by Riah Pryor about the ACCG's test case, currently pending before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The article correctly notes that one of ACCG's key complaints is that the applicable regulations " muddl[e] up the place a coin was made with the place it was found." If the point of import restrictions is to protect archaeological sites in source countries, why has the Government written restrictions based on a coin's place of production rather than its find spot?
Nathan Elkins, a strident critic of collectors and the coin trade, suggests that the dispute is between "experts and academics on one side and and collectors and dealers on the other," but several more seasoned academics I know have also expressed concern that such over broad restrictions do little but encourage grasping cultural bureaucracies like those of Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and China to lay claim to any artifact that may have been produced in those countries millenia ago.
Is this really what protecting archaeological sites should be about?