Thursday, June 15, 2006

“...a slightly shady background”

(Via Unidroit-L) Times Online is reporting that Classical Numismatic Group has returned an Eid Mar denarius to the Greek government.

CNG had bought the coin from two Greek runners. The runners/smugglers spilled the beans when UK Customs questioned them about 'a large sum of euros' they were trying to carry out of the UK — payment from CNG. The Greek government, whose laws give it ownership over goods excavated from Greek soil, pressed for the return of the Eid Mar using “a European directive on the return of cultural objects that passed into British law in 1994”, and of course CNG returned it.

The article did not name the directive/law under which the denarius was demanded. I am not familiar with UK law. If this had happened in the US, the law would be the stolen property act. It seems unlikely the UK didn't have laws against stolen property in 1994, so I wonder what the Times is talking about.


Ed Snible said...

Peter Alexander-Fitzgerald on Unidroit-L believes the law invoked was The Return of Cultural Objects (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2001.

The Council of Europe's Cultural Heritage page gives the text of their conventions.

RJO said...

Here's an update on some of the Turkish museum coin thefts. I actually support the idea of regional museums on principle (mentioned at the end of the article), but they obviously aren't being properly managed in this case.