Friday, October 2, 2009

Bulgarian Constitutional Court Strikes Down Parts of Law on Collecting

The Bulgarian Constitutional Court has struck down parts of a new law that requires Bulgarian collectors to register their collections with the State.

As I understand it from a Bulgarian source,

1. The possessors of cultural goods now can demonstrate their ownership with an invoice, a declaration from a previous owner, etc. It is not necessary to have an "official document" to do so.

2. For cultural goods considered to be "national heritage" one may now be an "owner" without presentation of an official document (issued by the state institution). The law had stated the possessor was only entitled to "hold" the artifact without an official document.

The effect of the ruling will presumably make it easier for Bulgarian collectors to "own" artifacts legally, and, as such, is a recognition that ancient artifacts are sold quite openly in Bulgaria, despite suggestions to the contrary on some of the archaeological blogs.

1 comment:

Cultural Property Observer said...

Nathan Elkins has commented on this blog post here:

As he has evidently feels free to insult me, the ACCG and the small businesses of the numismatic trade on his own blog, but refuses me the courtesy of commenting, I attach the comment I left on his blog here:

I actually agree with some of Voz Earl’s analysis, but think countries need to be incentivized to adopt a PAS and Treasure Trove scheme first before our nation agrees to help them with their customs issues.

Frankly, doing what we have done on import restrictions for countries like Italy and Cyprus without such a quid pro quo pretty much guarantees that PAS and Treasure Trove will never be seriously considered.

I do, however, fail to see what is wrong with commercial interests (especially those of small business) making their case along with everyone else. I would also note that there is not as much a distinction between collector and coin dealer as you suggest. Indeed, most coin dealers started as collectors and still collect on some level.

As for your claim that the ACCG is a "dealer lobby," I would again direct you to Wayne Sayles' many posts on that particular issue. You have been corrected multiple times, but persist in this inaccurate statement.

Overall, I've come to think of your blog posts as hypocritical. You rail against people collecting and selling unprovenanced coins, but you evidently don't seem to have a problem working in an institution (Yale) full of such items.

Finally, I would also note your job at Yale is likely funded at least in part by "commercial interests." Will you be returning your paycheck based on principle? I doubt it.


Peter Tompa

Presumably Elkins did not care for the last two paragraphs, but I do not care for the tenor of his post either.