"Cultivating a passion for
Numismatics with competence and confidence
is a right to be protected, a heritage
of the Italian cultural tradition"

Numismatics

The following was discussed in a criminal trial that took place a few years ago. Here a young and talented professional who worked as representative of the Italian State Administration at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels, had to return quickly to Italy because the Milanese home of his parents and his Roman home were searched by Carabinieri of the Nucleo TPC in search of numismatic artefacts. Was he a delinquent and receiver of stolen goods?
No. Most trivially, during a search that took place a thousand kilometres away in the home of a third person, unknown to the suspect, the Carabinieri determined that the professional had made the purchase of the coins in question, through the website eBay, from that third person, the seller. As a result of the implementation of search warrants on the two houses, 31 ancient coins were seized in one and 10 ancient coins in the other.
So why do I start with this case to introduce the numismatics section of the site? Because this is a fitting example of the potentially precarious daily reality for numismatic collectors, one none of whom wishes to ever encounter.
Let us continue with the judicial record of the matter. During the trial, in defence of the professional, his former elementary school classmates and teachers were called upon to confirm how the defendant, as a child, loved ancient history and how he once proudly brought the ancient coins that his grandmother bought for him in a numismatics shop to class for show and tell. When he became an adult, the professional went on to buy, using his own resources, more ancient coins through specialized shops or on the Internet until he assembled the 41 coins, the ones that were later seized. A page out of the book Cuore (Heart)? Not at all. A merciless trial that ended with an acquittal sentence, which then became final. The magistrate recognized that "there are no absolute restrictions on the possession of cultural property by the private sector", and that "it is lawful to possess goods purchased from commercial retailers or collectors unless there is evidence that the goods sold come from an excavation after 1939 or are not of illicit origin”.
A numismatic collector does not need to, or rather must not, be legitimized in his humanistic passion by a judgment of the Court. He has to be able to cultivate it with confidence, on the legal market using professional shops, authorized auction houses, numismatic conferences, exchanges between collectors, and purchases through the Internet. The numismatic sector has no need to resort to the illicit market to stock up on finds! Through free commercial circulation, both in Italy and abroad, there is a much greater number of ancient coins than the number of finds indicated in the archaeology section of this site. The amount of numismatic material coming from a considerable number of collections around the world, old, dated or more recent, is indefinable. Italy has a well-established ancient and noble tradition of numismatic collecting, a source of scientific publications still today recognised and appreciated by the most illustrious international scholars. Why disperse a humanistic history of such value by virtue of prejudices that often exist within the same subject, active amidst the public sector of numismatics, with which private individuals would like to cooperate? The right to numismatic collecting (and in our current historical phase it seems that some public advocates, based on their way of operating and looking at what they support and write, want to eliminate it just like a disease needs to be eradicated) must be protected both as a heritage of the Italian humanistic tradition and as a contribution of citizens to the promotion and development of culture (art. 9 Cost.).
FROM THE BLOG
My staff and I regularly update this section with articles and analytical insights. Archaeology,
palaeontology, numismatics, but also palaeoanthropology, archiving, ancient documents and the history of collecting:

are the subjects that we cover. Always from a legal point of view, of course.
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