Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Petition on State Of Oregon Senate Bill 64

"Say "NO" to State Of Oregon - Senate Bill 64" urge the petition organizers. Certainly one for the ACCG to get involved in, surely it will not stand idly by while moves are underfoot to compel US finders by retentionist and "nationalist" laws to hand over relics to the state to be made available for study and archiving in public collections so everybody can enjoy them?

To: Oregon State House of Representatives
State Of Oregon - Senate Bill 64

In summary, it would stop all artifact collecting, metal detecting and relic hunting in the state, not just on public land but on private land. It makes it illegal for even a landowner to pick up artifacts on his own property. Anything of cultural patrimony cannot be removed without a permit. To get the permit requires a Masters Degree in Archaeology or a related field. Even with the permit everything has to go either to the appropriate Indian tribe or to the State Anthropological Museum. There’s much more…. But suffice to say it would be the death knell for collecting in Oregon and a bitter blow to private museums that rely on these folks to give them artifacts. It would also put an extremely heavy load on the State Historic Preservation Office which is already shorthanded. Sincerely, The Undersigned

Click on the signatures... Some of the comments are very revealing and rather comic in their own way. Also the prevalence of spelling mistakes suggests that in the US too (or at least Oregon) it could be largely people who in the immortal words of British Culture Minister David Lammy who "felt excluded by formal education" who take up portable antiquity collecting through the use of metal detectors.

Let's now see all those so concerned about "the past" start up another petition to augment the resources of the State Historic Preservation Office so they are not "shorthanded already". That too seems a matter of public concern does it not?

So basically what these people are all saying is that they do not want anything like the UK's treasure act or portable antiquities scheme, they just want the ability to claim the right to pick up, or dig up and carry away whatever they want without sharing it with anyone else.

Coin commemorating the Oregon Trail.

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