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All Posts Tagged With: "ACCG"

Putting History Into the Hands of Children with Ancient Coins

ACE projects create a new learning experience for many young students.

Ancient Coins for Education, Inc., entirely run by volunteers, was established in 2001 as a registered non-profit organization to encourage learning about Classical (Greek, Roman, and Byzantine) history and culture through the use of ancient coins. ACE provides coins to students nationwide for their study and attribution with the help of online and computer resources.

ACE is supported by professional and amateur numismatists that have donated coins for the students, their time and knowledge as classroom mentors, and even books on the subject. Each year ACE holds essay contests for students with the subject of the essay being a Roman Emperor or a member of their family. The prize is an ancient coin for the student to keep. Last years national winner, 15-year-old Wendy Owens, was celebrated in her local newspaper:

http://www.gazette.net/stories/03042010/urbanew163749_32555.php

Zee Ann Poerio, an ACE director and teacher at St. Louise de Marillac School in Pittsburgh, PA, pioneered the Ancient Coin Museums project, which has brought displays of history through ancient coins to a growing number of schools. Parents at the first opening in Pittsburgh were amazed to see the exhibits and many said they wished that they had such an opportunity when they were at school.

ACE students are not only learning about history, but are also introduced to archaeology in the form of simulated digs where they can excavate authentic ancient coins. The coins used in this project are mostly in poorer condition than the coins used as inspiration and prizes for the essay contests or in the museum displays. Though actually quite common, they are typical of the coins also found at most Roman period archaeological sites.

The private sector, too, has recognized the valuable work of ACE and the Ancient Coin Museum project. In 2007, a $2,500 Best Buy Teach Award was presented to St. Louise de Marillac School for demonstrating how interactive technology can be used to make learning more fun for students.

The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG) supports the valuable work of ACE and all of its teachers in bringing new dimensions to learning about our classical heritage.

For information about ACE, and how to help with their worthwhile projects, visit:
http://ancientcoinsforeducation.org/

A Time to Speak Out – Will Ancient Coins from Italy be Restricted?

The U.S. State Department has announced a date of May 6-7 for Cultural Property Advisory Committee hearings on the request for renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding with Italy. Hopefully your eyes are not already glazed over by this first sentence.

In practical terms, the U.S. government is about to decide whether antiquities and other forms of cultural property that Italy claims as its heritage ought to be restricted from entry into the U.S. unless accompanied by Italian export permits. There is already such an agreement in place, but ancient coins have been exempted twice before in these renewal requests that cover a 5-year window.

We have very good reason to believe that Italy and members of the archaeological community will this time seek to add coins to the list of restricted items.

There is a period open for public comment on the issue and the best way to comment is by fax. Don’t despair, this is VERY easily done. Simply go to the ACCG web site at http://accg.us and click on the Fax Wizard link (picture of U.S. Capitol Building) on the left side of the page. It says “Fax Your Legislator” but will indeed send your message to the State Department. You will be guided through a brief and easy to follow process that sends a free fax to the State Department registering your views.

Why oppose these import restrictions? Because Roman coins are at the very core of the cultural experience that we all treasure. They have circulated all over the known world in antiquity and since through trade and collector markets. It is impossible to distinguish a Roman coin found in Britain, for example, from exactly the same type, mint, etc found in Italy.

Requiring an export permit from Italy on a coin found and legally exported from Britain would not only be impractical, it would not have any legal foundation. Still, any court challenge by an individual is unlikely since the legal costs usually far exceed the value of seized objects.

We simply MUST oppose any expansion of the MOU with Italy to include coins. We must do so with an absolutely resounding voice.

Import restrictions are simply not a viable solution to protecting archaeological sites. They are an idealist panacea that cause far more harm to society than any possible good. Excluding the U.S. collector and trade from the legitimate world market for Roman coins, or unilaterally forcing draconian documentation requirements on Americans, would be grossly prejudicial and would certainly be against the interests of American citizens and their traditional freedoms. (more…)

Collectors Claim Bias Epitomizes State Department Advisory Committee Management

Kerry Wetterstrom, representing the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, opposed adding U.S. import restrictions on coins at a Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) hearing November 13, 2009. The occasion was an interim review of a Memorandum of Understanding with Italy. Wetterstrom, publisher/editor of The Celator, wrote in his latest editorial:

accg_cyp_chi_coins“This was the first such hearing that I have attended, and it was an interesting, albeit a bit frustrating, experience. I came away from this hearing with the strong belief that the odds are against the ancient coin collecting community in receiving a ‘fair shake’ from the U.S. Department of State, specifically its Cultural Heritage Center office, at these CPAC hearings.

“The three speakers representing collectors and dealers were invited to speak first, each speaker was limited to five minutes, and we were informed that this would be strictly enforced…

“…though I entered the hearing with a bit of trepidation, the hearing’s casual atmosphere had a calming effect on my nerves. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to finish reading the two-page statement that I had prepared, and after answering a couple of questions from the committee, I walked back to my seat thinking that this was the fastest five minutes I had ever experienced. Later, several people commented to me that they believed I had been cut off before the end of my allotted time.”

Other speakers, who advocate import restrictions on coins, were reportedly allowed to exceed the published time limit with comments ranging up to 30 minutes. Wetterstrom concluded that, “Based on this experience, I now know that the best option that the ancient coin collecting community has for a ‘fair hearing,’… is through the court system…” (more…)