The Establishment won’t say so out loud and leaves it to the likes of us to say it and to take the consequent nasty flack that ought to be their professional burden. That’s the way it is in crazy Britain, where the government has decreed that professionals must suppress conservation principles in favour of lickspittle populism.This time they look at the wording of contracts drawn up by artefact hunters with landowners and used in the organization of commercial artefact hunting rallies. which is characterised as "a cleverly worded rip-off, who can possibly pretend otherwise?". This is, Heritage Action considers, a matter that should be taken seriously by the management of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which they argue as a matter of routine should also start examining the Landowner/Organiser Contract before they attend any rally.
“Partnership” with metal detectorists in order to try to get them on side was never viable since it is partnership with “taking” (see the recent changes to the IfA code of ethics). But extending the strategy to include mutely standing by as one’s partners bamboozle innocent members of society? There’s a racket going on, PAS. What are you going to do about it?What are the PAS going to do about it? Past experience sugests they will ignore the fact that the question was ever raised. Over the years through increasingly weak responses to UK artefact hunting resistance to good practice in the name of "building a partnership", The PAS has by default become part of what I have before labelled, and quite justifiably so, the British Portable Antiquities SCAM. Artefact hunters and collectors are scamming the real stakeholders in the heritage, the general public ("society" if you like). Those that support them in this, even if passively, are part of the scam.