Representative Charles Rangel is considering changes to the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CCPIA) regarding coins. For 30 years this convention has been a vital weapon in our nation’s fight against the illegal antiquities trade.By reducing demand for looted and smuggled objects, it helps safeguard cultural heritage worldwide. As it is currently written, the CCPIA is instrumental in ensuring that the United States will not become a haven for illegally exported and undocumented coins.
The Archaeological Institute of America opposes this attempt to exempt coins from CCPIA. Coins are a critical part of the archaeological record, often providing the key criterion for dating on an excavation. Many coins also have tremendous cultural significance, offering detailed information about ancient trade, economy, politics, settlements and the movement of peoples, among other vital topics. In addition, the illegal trade in coins encourages looters armed with metal detectors to destroy archaeological sites in their search for coins to trade. Finally, an exemption for coins in the CCPIA would cause major problems with cultural diplomacy, contradicting current bilateral agreements with China, Italy, Cyprus, Greece and Bulgaria, and breaching the obligations the U.S. undertook when it ratified with 124 other nations the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.
Rep. Rangel needs to hear from his constituents like you who oppose this exemption. Please email him NOW, before the end of June 2014, to voice your concern for his support of exempting coins from the CCPIA. Rep. Rangel’s Contact Me link is at: https://rangel.house.gov/contact-me.