Friday, October 30, 2009

Dimitar Draganov to be tried for treasure hunting

Professor Dimitar Draganov, perhaps the most famous Bulgarian numismatist (see his 37 papers) was arrested in 2008 for intending to profit from selling archaeological findings according to a story in The Sofia Echo by Petar Kostadinov.

Police found about 400 ancient coins, worth 370 000 leva, in Draganov’s home.

According to police, the coins were about to be sold abroad, with Draganov hired to record them as an expert. Draganov’s version of the story is different. He said that the coins were part of a collection owned by the Bobokovi Foundation and his job was indeed to register them as archaeological artefacts so that a catalogue could be compiled and a book written about them.
“The Bobokovi Foundation” are the brothers whose collection of coins from Deultum takes an entire SNG, Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Bulgaria, Thrace and Moesia Inferior, Vol. 1, Deultum. Draganov seems to have done nothing wrong:
"The collection which police confiscated from my desk, I received from the Bobokovi brothers with a protocol so that I can do research on it. I did so, and it won me the sole prize awarded at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow this past September," [Draganov] said.
The Numismatic Congress web site says the prize was a Numismatic Congress medal for the best poster. The poster was “The Coinage of the Scythian kings in the West Pontic Area; Iconography”.

Go read the full story.

1 comment:

Voz Earl said...

Note the absurd situation in Bulgaria: Coins are illegally dug up and smuggled outside the country to places like *Germany* where Bulgarian collectors can legally buy them at auction. So a coin illegally dug up at Veliko Turnovo could end up in a Bulgarian collection with a stated provenance of "Gorny & Mosch 181" for instance.

Not surprisingly: "Prosecutors want to see the papers used by Bobokovi and Draganov to register the collection. According to BNT, the prosecutors’ case was that these papers could easily have been manipulated."

This is undoubtedly why many Bulgarian collectors expressly stated that they would NOT register their collections before the deadline. They saw it as akin to painting a bullseye on their chest. This case makes it appear that their fears were well founded.