The American dealer lobby, which I term such because every leading officer is an active or former dealer (with the exception of Tompa, who acts as a lobbyist for organized ancient coin dealers) and most of its large financial backers are also dealerships and auction houses, is joined in its lawsuit by two other dealer organizations: the International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). As many readers are aware, the ACCG and these other groups launched the suit in the fall of 2007, alleging a lack of transparency in the way that the State Department agreed to extend the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coins of certain Cypriot type.
It was expected that the ACCG had every intention of pressing the lawsuit as far as they could since they hosted a "benefit auction" last year in order to raise funds "in opposition to State Department imposed import restrictions" (see discussion here, here, here, and here). Along with the progress report on the lawsuit, the ACCG has also announced the plan for another "benefit auction" in 2009 (note the heavy distortive and alarmist rhetoric used by Sayles that we have heard from him and the group before: see some discussions here, here, and here).
Two documents relevant to the ACCG's lawsuit are on its website: the progress report and a declaration from Jay Kislak, former chair of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee of the State Department. Curiously, Kislak's declaration all but explicitly states that CPAC did not recommend to extend the restrictions to coins. Therefore, it will be interesting to see what comes out in the end, although it remains unclear to me personally if the State Department must be bound by the recommendations of CPAC since it is an advisory committee and deliberations and decisions are no doubt often split considering archaeologists, museum specialists, and members of the trade serve simultaneously on the committee. On the other hand, CPAC members are meant to keep the activities of the committee confidential and so it appears that Mr. Kislak may have been sharing privleged information with the coin dealers the whole time - the same sorts of hidden activities the dealer lobby consistently accuses members of the State Department's Cultural Heritage Center of.
In any case, Mr. Tompa expects the court to rule on the release of further documents within the next six months. The ACCG has not shared the documents released thus far to outside parties, though its own interpretation of them has been relayed several times.
Other commentators on these developments include:
D.W.J. Gill, "Cyprus and the Coin Collectors: Yet Another Round," Looting Matters (27 April 2009)
P. Barford, "Leaky Old CPAC - Mystery Solved?," Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues (27 April 2009).
P. Barford, "'ACCG Presses Claims to Hidden Information'," Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues (27 April 2009).
P. Barford, "Per Lucem ad Veritatem, sed nemo surdior est quam is qui no audiet" ("Through light to the truth, but no one is more deaf than one who shall not listen"), Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues (28 April 2009).