Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Action on UK Heritage Crime success stories

Heritage action detail a number of "success stories" in Britain's recent clampdown on heritage crime, including a number involving illegal removal of "portable antiquities" from protected sites - you know that activity that a recent report was saying was hardly occurring nowadays. It seems you only have to be a little more vigilant to find that it is.

We saw this in the case of the Twinstead Hoard where a lot of people tried to walk off with material that evidently should have been reported and handed over. That this is by no means an isolated instance is indicated by this post by one "Relichunting" [Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:30 pm] on the Rally UK forum:
To[o] much of this going on, a hoard is found then its a free for all, it never gets declared because so many people have had shares from it, never to be seen again. [...] That's rally's for you I am afraid to say,and to leave it like a bomb site is out of order,i think the word were looking for is greeed.
This is from an eye-witness, a participant in rallies. To make the point, the writer then recounts the story of "a Newbury rally" he had attended many years ago, during which a "civil war hoard" was found, he said that a free-for-all ensued "for a good hour before the organisers closed the area off, I personally seen over 50 odd hammered's found by different people, of course when the hoard was declared these people could not be found".He concludes:
If your ever lucky enough to find a hoard at a rally, you will be lucky to get it out of the ground before all the greedy vultures appear to try and plunder what ever they can.
Note the suggestion lower down in the thread that the two detector users who HAD obeyed the law and handed two coins in "should be given a free yearly pass to any rally they wish to attend in the uk, well done you two", obviously obeying the law is regarded here as an exception, worthy of reward, than the norm.

Vignette: Mechanical excavator used on the Twinstead rally site to get every last (?) coin out of the ground.

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