Thursday, March 31, 2016

Still Time to Comment on Proposed German Law

Coins Weekly is again soliciting signatures for a petition raising concerns about Germany's proposed new cultural patrimony law.  Proponents in the archaeological lobby and German cultural bureaucracy originally justified the law as an anti-terrorism measure.  However, as the claim that ISIS was heavily funded with stolen antiquities was exposed as a highly exaggerated fraud, the justification changed and the proposal was instead sold as a "soft power" measure to endear Germany to countries like Greece, Turkey, etc.  (Sounds familiar, doesn't it?)  But German cultural bureaucrats like their State Department counterparts seem to be oblivious to the fact that collecting fosters not only the preservation of artifacts, but also the people to people contacts and cultural understanding that should be encouraged, not condemned.   The problem isn't so much some regulation, but rather some draconian requirements that have been discussed.  (Also sounds familiar, doesn't it?)

From Coins Weekly,

Dear Coin Enthusiasts all over the World,

The final sprint has started! On April 13, 2016, an expert hearing will be held in Berlin, in the context of the new German Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage, which we would like to take as an opportunity to present the signatures of our petition to the chairman of the Federal Committee for Culture and the Media.
So, if you see any ways to get us some more signatures, please help us. Dear collectors, you have relatives and friends who may sign due to solidarity. Dear coin society presidents, please remind the members of your society that they have relatives and friends. Dear coin dealers, please send a reminder to your customers. We have often seen the second and third reminder bringing in numerous signatures as well. As of today, we have collected an impressive 44,229 signatures. But, according to recent studies, there are currently 7.7 million coin collectors in Germany only, 6.2 million collectors of stamps, 4.1 million collectors of minerals and fossils, and another 3.6 million collectors of antiques. As you can see, we still have some potential for improvement until April 13!
You can support us in Berlin, too. Please attend the expert hearing. Our article tells you how to do that. And please join us when we hand in the signatures. It would be fine if the politicians in Berlin realized that we do care about the new Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage!

Please find the link to the petition here.

Ursula Kampmann

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