Skip to main content

Washington Lobbyist and Coins from Bulgaria

I have recently noted that the sale of some medieval coins from Bulgaria had been stopped. It now appears that Classical Numismatic Group Inc. (CNG), with an office in Bond Street, London, has issued a press statement. The release included this statement:
On 5 November, CNG's London office received a faxed letter from the Bulgarian Embassy in London notifying CNG that "The Bulgarian authorities have reasons to believe" that one of the lots in the CNG auction was part of a collection reportedly stolen in Bulgaria in 2007, and requesting CNG to withdraw the Bulgarian coins from the auction in order to allow the Bulgarian authorities to further investigate the matter.
The interesting thing is that the press release does not appear on the CNG website (as far as I can see). Is there a reason?

So where does the press release appear? On a paid-lobbyist's blog - and if you want to read the release you can click here because this same Washington lobbyist has thoughtfully left the text on Looting Matters. (There is a link to the lobbyist's original page.)

It appears that this same lobbyist is currently retained by two organisations: the International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN), and the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG).

The IAPN has apparently paid Bailey & Ehrenberg $20,000 this year for lobbying. (In 2009 is was $10,000.)

IAPN has also apparently paid $10,000 in 2010 to the DLM Group, and specifically to William B. Driggers and Marc P. Lupin.

CNG is a member of the IAPN.

Will the CNG disclose the name of the anonymous private collector who is reported to have consigned the coins at issue?

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know


David- I've noted previously that my blog is my own venture. I don't receive any remuneration for my effort. I am still waiting to hear who funds your press releases, if anyone. As for lobbying, see the AIA's latest on the Omnibus Lands bill. They lobby too in case you didn't notice. What is unclear is who pays for the trips to Washington for their lobbyists. Universities or someone else? We simply don't know. Can you find out and post it on your blog?
David Gill said…
You ask 'who funds your press releases, if anyone'? I refer you to Operation Baklava and Operation Tartuffo. I am still waiting for John Hooker to provide a source for his assertion that I 'pay a rate of $400 per 400 words for [my] frequent PR Newswire releases'. Or is Hooker 'creative' when it comes to facts?
Best wishes
David Gill said…
I see that the AIA is "encouraging the 111th Congress to pass a bipartisan Omnibus Lands Bill that will move forward the many bills intended to protect public lands in the United States. Cultural, historical, and natural preservation organizations have joined their voices by submitting a letter calling for action to conserve cultural resources and the environment, and also to stimulate economic growth through responsible recreation and tourism."
Is encouraging the same as paid lobbying?
For the AIA release: here.

Popular posts from this blog

Marble bull's head from the temple of Eshmun

Excavations at the temple of Eshmun in Lebanon recovered a marble bull's head. It is now suggested that it was this head, apparently first published in 1967, that was placed on loan to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tom Mashberg, "Met Museum Turns Over Another Relic With Disputed Past to Prosecutors", New York Times August 1, 2017 ). The head is reported to have been handed over to the Manhattan district attorney after a request was received from the Lebanese authorities.

It is suggested that the head may have been looted from an archaeological storage area at Byblos in the 1980s during the Lebanese civil war. Mashberg has rehearsed the recent collecting history:
The owners of the bull’s head, Lynda and William Beierwaltes of Colorado, say they have clear title to the item and have sued Manhattan prosecutors for its return.  The Beierwaltes bought the head from a dealer in London in 1996 for more than $1 million and then sold it to another collector, Michael …

The Toledo skyphos and a Swiss private collection

The Attic red-figured skyphos attributed to the Kleophon painter in the Toledo Museum of Art (inv. 1982.88) is now coming under further scrutiny following the research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis. The skyphos shows Hephaistos returning to Olympos.

Tsirogiannis has identified what appears to be this skyphos in five photographs in the Medici Dossier. The museum acknowledged that the skyphos had resided in a 'private Swiss collection'. Tsirogiannis suggests that this is probably a reference to Medici.

Enquiries to the museum by Tsirogiannis elicited the information that the skyphos had been acquired from Nicholas Koutoulakis (although that information does not appear on the museum's online catalogue).

The curatorial team at the Toledo Museum of Art will, no doubt, be contacting the Italian authorities to discuss the future residence of the skyphos.

For further discussion of the Toledo Museum of Art on LM see here.

Tsirogiannis, C. 2017. "Nekyia: Museum ethics an…

Metropolitan Museum of Art hands over Paestan krater

In May 2014 I commented on a Paestan krater acquired by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art after it had been identified by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis in photographic images seized from Giacomo Medici. Tsirogiannis published his full concerns in the Journal of Art Crime in 2014, but it has taken a further three years for the museum to respond.

The krater showing Dionysos in a hand-drawn cart was purchased in 1989 from the Bothmer Purchase Fund (details from the Museum's website, inv. 1989.11.4). The krater surfaced through Sotheby's New York in June 1989.

It is unclear who consigned the krater to Sotheby's New York.

It has now been revealed that the krater has been handed over to the US authorities after a warrant had been issued (Tom Mashberg, "Ancient Vase Seized From Met Museum on Suspicion It Was Looted", New York Times July 31, 2018).

It appears that the museum did make an attempt to resolve the case in December 2016. Mashberg notes:
The Met, for its par…