An ancient coin collection that was in Saskatoon for several years has become the centre of controversy after its owner Robert McCorkill bequeathed it to a neo-Nazi group, in his will. However a judge ruled that the collection, which is valued at $250,000, will not be given to the group.

After McCorkill’s death in 2004 the ancient Roman and Greek coins were left to an American neo-Nazi group called The National Alliance. However, his sister Isabelle McCorkill stepped forward to put a stop to it.

"She felt it was incumbent upon her to do something to prevent this white supremacist group from benefiting from the estate of her late brother," says Isabelle’s lawyer Marc-Antoine Chiasson.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs shared this concern as well. They say The National Alliance has been diminishing in power and were worried that the $250,000 collection could help revitalize the group.

On June 5tha New Brunswick judged that giving the coins to the neo-Nazi group goes against Canada’s public policy and voided the bequeathing.

"The accepted public policy in Canada is that hate propaganda is not acceptable,” says Chiasson.  “The fact that any funds from an estate would go to a group that flies in the face of the public policy in our view is illegal.”

The coins will now be divided amongst McCorkill’s siblings pending an appeal.

McCorkill loaned the ancient Roman and Greek coins the University of Saskatchewan’s Museum of Antiquities while living in Saskatoon. He took the collection with him when he left Saskatoon in the late 1990’s. The museum’s curator says he did not know McCorkill’s political beliefs, but is happy the coins will not be going to the neo-Nazi group.