The finest non-public assortment of Andalusian forex in Spain may depart the nation after being auctioned | Culture | EUROtoday

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The Tonegawa Collection (about 2,000 cash, of which greater than 200 are gold) is one of the best of the Spanish non-public collections of al-Andalus cash. Sebastián Gaspariño, one of the crucial distinguished numismatic consultants, described it because the “best that has ever been formed.” Japanese-owned, it started to be created within the 70s from the acquisition of different financial units of various origins and from public auctions. The agency Auro&Calicó, from Barcelona, ​​has organized for subsequent February 15 the primary of a number of auctions into which it has divided the sale of the gathering. The supply has aroused nice curiosity resulting from its popularity and high quality, and collectors from all around the world (together with massive traders from Arab international locations) “are interested in it,” in response to the sector sources consulted, “and could take it out of the country as there is no “has been declared unexportable.” Neither the Ministry of Culture nor the Community of Madrid, the place the gathering was situated till its switch to Barcelona for the public sale, have taken steps to forestall this from taking place.

These similar sources keep that “it would be an enormous loss for the national heritage, because it is a collection of the highest quality and with several unique [piezas sin igual en el mundo] that make it something very special.” Sources from the Ministry of Culture clarify that the gathering shouldn’t be labeled as unexportable as a result of the public sale has not been held but, there isn’t a request to take away it from the nation and the set has not been declared Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) by the autonomous neighborhood the place is discovered (which might routinely confer this safety), which is the one who should resolve. “But we are very attentive to what may happen. “We know the case,” they add.

The ministry admits, nonetheless, that it doesn’t know the place this financial set is stored and, subsequently, which autonomous neighborhood can be liable for declaring BIC. This newspaper has been capable of confirm that it’s situated in Madrid, though it has been partially transferred to Barcelona on the market.

Unknown proprietor

For its half, the Community of Madrid assures that “the Ministry of Culture can make it unexportable without being BIC, if it considers it culturally and heritage-related.” “Then,” they proceed, “you would have to request the corresponding autonomous community to declare it BIC, informing the owner when the procedure begins.” The Community of Madrid maintains that it doesn’t know who the proprietor of the gathering is both.

Lawyer Antonio Pulido Rodríguez Bernal, professor of the Heritage grasp's diploma on the Carlos III University of Malaga, asserts that each establishments are “right to a certain extent.” “The State can declare a cultural asset unexportable without it being BIC, but that forces the autonomous community to immediately open a provisional file as an Asset of Cultural Interest that justifies it. You cannot have an owner indefinitely in legal limbo. But also, if the good was already declared BIC previously, it is automatically unexportable.”

The consultants consulted additionally have no idea who owns the Tonegawa Collection. It may very well be an investor, a collector or a household with Asian origins. They're not even positive it's owned by a household group with Japanese surnames. “It is like the well-known Caballero de Yndias Collection [recopilatorio numismático de moneda de oro medieval y moderna], which was supposedly started by a Basque family living in Cuba and was auctioned in 2009. Nobody knows who is behind it, because the auction houses have confidentiality agreements,” they level out. For their half, these liable for the gathering haven’t responded to the requests for data that this newspaper has despatched them.

“Since the famous collection of Antonio Vives Escudero, much larger than this one and which, for the most part, passed to the National Archaeological Museum in the early years of the 20th century, there has not been another collection for sale of equal quality to the Tonegawa. The one known as The Morgenstern Collection of Islamic coins, currently in the Casa de la Moneda Museum in Madrid, was more numerous and varied, but not better in the Andalusian series,” point out the sources consulted.

According to the specialised web site, the financial set that goes up for public sale consists of, amongst others, a minimal of six distinctive, together with a dirham, “the only one known” from the caliphate of Abd al-Rahman III, in addition to dinars from the dominion of Granada, “mostly unique to the respective kings.” According to an professional, “in the current circumstances it will be very difficult, in an open auction, to prevent the best pieces from leaving Spain, regardless of what the fragmentation and dissolution of a unique collection implies.”

Coin of the Caliphate of Hisham III, from the Tonegawa Collection.
Coin of the Caliphate of Hisham III, from the Tonegawa Collection.EEA

In the final 200 years, Spain has misplaced massive financial units. The invaluable anthology of Arab cash by Francisco Codera y Zaidín ended up between the British Museum in London and the Hispanic Society in New York. But for sure the most important of them, that of the Hispanic Society, shaped by Archer Huntington, and which is now partly deposited within the American Numismatic Society, “was lost due to the inability of the Spanish State to prevent it from going up for auction in 2008. “It was unique and exceptional, a sample of our history.”

According to the Auro&Calicó web site, the items that may go on sale correspond to the “early times of the conquest” (feluses and Ifrikiya), Emirate (dirhems), Caliphate and Taifa, along with items equivalent to the Almoravid, Almohad and Nasrid intervals from Granada. Starting costs differ considerably: from a dirham from Hisham I at 50 euros to a “very rare” gold dinar, from the primary reign of Mohamed V (15,000 euros), and one other from Córdoba, dated between the years 492 and 496 of the Hegira, which incorporates its month of minting (Shawal, between April and May), “a very rare case.” Its beginning value is 25,000 euros.

Official sources from the National Archaeological Museum, which has a big however incomplete assortment of Arab forex – through the Civil War the establishment suffered an immense looting that ended up with hundreds of gold items in Mexico, the place they disappeared – choose to not make statements. “Anything we say can modify the auction,” they level out. For its half, the Mint and Stamp Factory, a public establishment that has additionally been within the assortment, formally responds: “We have nothing to say about this renowned collection.”

Dinar from the Tonegawa Collection, from the time of Abderramán III.
Dinar from the Tonegawa Collection, from the time of Abd al-Rahman III.EEA

An professional consulted by this newspaper maintains: “The Government could declare the collection unexportable, which would lower the price by leaving out potential foreign buyers. Another option is to exercise the right of first refusal[tomatchthepriceofthelastbidbutthatsolutionismoreexpensivebecauseveryhighpricescanbereached”Theministryforitspartinsiststhat“inanycaseitwouldoptforthe[igualarelpreciodelaúltimapujaperoesasoluciónresultamáscaraporquesepuedenalcanzarpreciosmuyelevados”Elministerioporsuparteinsisteenque“entodocasoseoptaríaporlosunique because there are numerous copies of many of these coins throughout the country.”

Currently, the gathering may be admired on the web site of the School of Arab Studies (EEA), a analysis institute belonging to the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), a public physique depending on the Ministry of Science. “It is incredible that the Ministry of Culture and the Community of Madrid claim that they do not know where the collection is physically located. In the end, we are going to lose it,” signifies a specialist in numismatics.

The well-known Al-Andalus forex professional Sebastián Gaspariño, who died in 2023, wrote: “The Tonegawa Collection is not extraordinary, nor enormous, nor unique, what really characterizes it is that it is, by far, the best collection.” Andalusian numismatics that has ever been shaped. Starting February 15, to the best bidder.

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