Friday, September 3, 2010

Unconfirmed Report on Italian MOU Underscores Need For Greater State Department Transparency

Archaeo Blogger Paul Barford has revealed that coins have again received an exemption from import restrictions in the US-Italian MOU. See

If true, this demonstrates that Italy and the State Department seriously considered the concerns of coin collectors that any benefit from import restrictions would be far outweighed by the serious damage they could do to the preservation and study of ancient Greek and Roman coins, the appreciation of Italian culture and people to people contacts between American and European collectors.

On the other hand, it would also once again demonstrate that State Department secrecy may keep information from the public at large, but that such information is indeed often shared with members of the archaeological community either through personal contacts with Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs staff or members of foreign cultural establishments.

Coincidentally, the United States Court of Appeals will soon address such issues as initial briefs in the ACCG-IAPN-PNG FOIA case are due next week.

Addendum: I've asked Mr. Barford to provide some specifics as to the sourcing of his report. We'll see if he responds.

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