Customs sells “Precious Cultural Property”
March 18, 2010 – Some time ago, MünzenWoche the German version of CoinsWeekly has commented on the virtual auction house of the German state, its federal states and communes. There, the German state offers - beside other items - confiscated and seized commodities in order to transfer them to liquidation for the benefit of the public purse.
SThen we wondered of course what would happen if customs had to liquidate ancient coins. We asked ourselves, whether customs had to obtain this peculiar “certificate” - which in fact does not exist in Germany, but is requested by eBay - in order to assure that no “precious cultural property” is sold.
Now we can be sure: Customs has not to do so. The “Verwertungsstelle des Hauptzollamts Rosenheim”, which offers nine Constantinian bronzes in their auction 184229 / Charge: M-1137-2004-sch-1 gives absolutely no hint, where these coins come from.
Let’s admit it: Nobody besides archaeological hard-liners or the Hessian police would call these nine coins worth altogether 5 Euro a “precious cultural property”. But suits have been filed because of coins like these - however, they were bought not at customs, but at the private auction house eBay.