Self-appointed Cultural Property Custodians distort truth

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November 18th, 2010 – It’s just another ordinary story: CNG put together about 600 coins from private property in order to conduct their Electronic Auction No 244, which closed on November 2010. They do so every two weeks.

On November 5th, 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.

CNG replied the same day, informing the Bulgarian Embassy that CNG would withdraw all 10 lots of Bulgarian coins in the auction, would hold those coins in CNG’s US office, and would turn the coins over to the rightful owner or the proper authorities if the coins are shown to have been stolen. Since then, CNG has received no further communication from the Bulgarian authorities.

You would not recognize this story, if you read one of these blogs written by those self-appointed cultural property guardians. They are already convinced, that the coins have been stolen (“CNG: Bulgarian Police Bust Illegal Medieval Coins Auction” or ”Apparently the sale included material from a collection stolen in 2007.”). There is no chance to accuse CNG to have comitted any illegal action in this very case, therefore both bloggers involved repeat old allegations. Maybe they hope to discredit Eric McFadden, director of CNG, who has written a very profound letter to the US Government concerning the Memorandum of Understanding with Greece.

Baseless rumors as a form of politics used to be a very typical phenomenon in the political culture of the United States of America. Now, this form of politics gains currency among British archaeologists. European citizens are still amazed, when they hear, that there are citizens in the United States, who state against their better judgment (and existing documents) that Obama was not born in the United States of America. There, some authors consider the truth to be of minor importance. When will European authors start to sympathize with their view?

If you want to read the statement of CNG, please click here.

If you want to see, how a blogger can rearrange this story, click here and here.