Monday, April 27, 2009

Cyprus and the Coin Collectors: Yet Another Round

In February 2008 I posted an update about the FOIA request served on the US State Department by:
The IAPN and PNG are so interested in this action that they have yet to issue a statement in the press sections of their websites.

But now there is movement ... Peter Tompa has posted a development on the ACCG website:
In papers filed by attorney Scott A. Hodes on April 24, 2009 with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the numismatic groups have argued that the State Department has wrongfully claimed such information to be “secret.” Past Cultural Property Advisory Committee Chairman, Jay Kislak, has added weight to the numismatic groups’ position. In a declaration filed with the Court, Mr. Kislak indicates that greater transparency is necessary to allow museums and members of the public to make informed presentations to CPAC. He has also stated that official State Department documentation falsely suggests that CPAC agreed with the controversial decision to impose import restrictions on coins of Cypriot type.

Tompa senses that there has been an attempt to hide information:
one heavily redacted document appears to confirm back channel coordination between the archaeological community and the State Department’s Cultural Heritage Center over extending Cypriot import restrictions to include coins
We continue to wait ... Tompa suggests another six months ... perhaps in time for Thanksgiving?

1 comment:

Wayne G. Sayles said...

David;

Thank you for spreading the word of ACCG's success in its FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. State Department. Your implication that IAPN and PNG are not "interested" in this action is very far from the truth of the matter. Rather, these co-plaintiffs have respectfully deferred in public comment to the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild which initiated the suit. Litigation against the U.S. government does not happen overnight, as most people would understand. Prior to the launch of this FOIA suit, the State Department routinely denied all requests for information submitted by the numismatic community. Since the filing, DOS has released hundreds of pages of documents and identified many others, including some of considerable significance, that will now be ruled on by a federal judge. You and others in the archaeological community may take the efforts of the ACCG lightly, but I can assure you that the State Department is not taking them lightly, nor will they take lightly the issues presented in further litigation. The motto of the ACCG, Per Lucem ad Veritatem, will in the end be prophetic as the truth is enlightened in court.

Best Wishes,

Wayne G. Sayles

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