沈没船から発見されたコインの売買

デラウェア州の大学が所蔵・管理しているスペインのコインをオークションにかけて販売する予定だそうです。その利益を大学などの運営資金・奨学金などに当てる予定だそうです。これに対して海洋考古学者が反対を示しています。これらのコインはthe Nuestra Señora de Atocha 号(1622年沈没)から引き上げられたもので、大学側がゆずりうけたもので、法的には遺物としての保護などから対象外とされています。しかし、同時代の陸から発見された遺物などは保護の対象となり売買が禁止されています。そのため、海洋考古学者が水中に眠る遺物や遺跡にも同等の保護が与えられるよう活動を行っています。(幾つかの水中遺跡は国からの保護を受けていますが、保護を受ける以前に盗掘された遺物に関しては保護されません)このようにいろいろな問題がありますが、ひとつずつ解決していくほかありません。

Group wants shipwreck coin sale stopped
Del. officials say auction is perfectly legal
By MOLLY MURRAY, The News Journal

Posted Friday, January 5, 2007

The president of the Washington-based Maritime Archaeological & Historical Society is questioning whether Delaware Technical & Community College can legally sell historic coins salvaged from the Nuestra Señora de Atocha shipwreck.

In a letter to the director of Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Steven Anthony, president of the maritime organization, urged the state to postpone the auction — set for Sunday and Monday in New York City — until the matter can be fully investigated.

College officials say many of Anthony’s concerns are unfounded.

Among his questions, Anthony said, is whether the college followed state rules for selling historic objects. But more important, he said, is his concern that a college might sell off historic objects that could one day be used by researchers or to help educate the public.

Judi Sciple, assistant to the director of DelTech’s Owens Campus in Georgetown, said the college has responded to Anthony but there are no plans to delay the coin sale.

Georgetown contractor Melvin Joseph and Frank Perdue, the Salisbury, Md., poultry magnate, donated hundreds of coins and other artifacts that were recovered off the Florida Keys from the wrecks of the Atocha and her sister ship, the Santa Margarita. The vessels were part of a Spanish fleet that wrecked on a reef during a hurricane in September 1622. The ships were headed from Havana, Cuba, to Seville, Spain, and were laden with treasures from Spain’s Central and South American colonial settlements.

In an e-mail to Anthony, college President Orlando J. George Jr. explained that Joseph and Perdue donated the coins to the Delaware Technical & Community College Foundation, a private entity under Delaware law.

George said the coins have never been a part of the college’s Treasures of the Sea Museum and that the museum remains open for public display and education. It will be unaffected by the auction, he wrote.

Joseph and Perdue intended from the start for the unexhibited coins to be sold by the college and, in fact, smaller groups of coins have been sold locally since the museum’s inception, he wrote.

The two men donated thousands of pieces to the foundation established by the college. Coins were sold to raise money to build the museum. Later, many of the artifacts, including a selection of coins, were put on display at the Treasures of the Sea Museum on the Owens campus in Georgetown.

About 2,700 coins not used in the display were housed for safekeeping in safety-deposit boxes. College officials said they had little use for the coins and decided last year, after consulting with Joseph and Perdue family members, to sell off the excess coins and create an endowment in memory of the two benefactors.

Because the coins belong to the foundation, Sciple said, college officials feel they are on firm legal ground with the decision to sell them.

Anthony said he believes the coins should be kept in the public domain and not sold to private collectors.

If the college has no use for them, another state agency such as the Public Archives might, he said.

“Let’s say it wasn’t Atocha artifacts. Let’s say it was a valuable Indian mound,” Anthony said.

He argues that under those circumstances, a state agency would have to go through a de-accession process of removing the items from the collection before they could be sold, especially if they involved historic artifacts.

Anthony had asked Timothy Slavin, state director of Historical and Cultural Affairs, to block the planned coin sale with an administrative order.

Slavin said Thursday that state officials consider the coins to be privately owned because they are held by the foundation.

“We don’t even have the authority to issue an administrative order,” he said. “It’s not something we would do for privately held materials.”

Anthony is no stranger to Delaware maritime archaeology issues. He corresponded with state officials amid the controversy over a federal dredging project that uncovered a historic shipwreck off Roosevelt Inlet in Lewes. Anthony said his main goal is to educate the public about the importance of preserving historic shipwrecks.

“An institution of higher learning should certainly be in the forefront of this policy,” he said.

Contact Molly Murray at 856-7372 or mmurray@delawareonline.com.

引用元:http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070105/NEWS/701050340

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