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Coins from Sicily seized in New York City

It can be revealed that last week there was a raid on the New York International Numismatic Convention. Two coins were seized with a value of some 2.8 million USD. Arnold-Peter Weiss, the apparent owner of the coins, is reported to have been detained: oral reports circulating here in NYC suggest that handcuffs were applied though this has to be confirmed.

Weiss is reported to be a professor at Brown University of Medicine.

Alan Walker, co-director of the company, claims that the material was being traded legally though he does not seem to have commented on their origin. Were the coins found in Italy? Did they leave Italy legally?

This development seems to suggest that the US authorities are taking firm action over high value cultural property that originates in Italy.

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Comments

Paul Barford said…
Well, since they've been a state party to the 1970 UNESCO Convention since September 1983, it would be nice to see them "taking action" on illicit cultural property not just from Italy, and regardless of financial worth, just pulling their fingers out and taking action.

It is worth noting that of the six Akargas dekas in private hands, five are in the US or passed through US dealers in recent years. That gives some idea of the scale of the involvement of the trade of that single country in the global commerce in such items.

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