Thursday, 27 December 2012

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Treasure Hunting Two-plank Thickedness


Forum member RogerM is incensed:
King's Ransom:
Location: Lichfield, Staffordshire
Year: 2009
The horde (sic) was valued at approximately £3.26 million It was confiscated by the Crown and is currently held by the British Museum.
Does that mean the metal detector finder got nothing for his find? How can the be?  (sic)
He is writing of course about Terry Herbert (who found a hoard, and not a "horde", nor a "metal detector"), the landowner and the Staffordshire Anglo-Saxon Hoard (Brownhills, near Lichfield). And his source of information" obviously is the MoneySupermarket (sic) webpage "6 Awesome Treasure Hunt Finds by Amateurs"  ("And if we haven't got you reaching for your metal detectors yet, we would just like to add that the total value of these treasures was a cool £7,000,000. Happy treasure hunting!").  But hypnotherapist -detectorist Ian steps in with an explanation of what Roger obviously could not look up on a thousand and one internet pages for himself:
 Hello Rodgerm, I think that what they are saying is that the hoard was classed as "treasure trove" which means that the hoard goes to a valuation committee and then the amount agreed upon is divided between the farmer and finder when it is acquired by a museum.
Treasure Trove? What a sneaky trick British lawmakers played on tekkies changing the name in the 1990s, eh? I mean they "might of known" that it'd be taking some of them fifteen years to learn the right one. But Ian has some more dark thoughts about the Gubn'mint:
Personally I think that the government are a bunch of robbing buggers and would do anything they can to acquire metal detecting finds as cheap as possible. I wouldn't trust them at all. It really makes me angry when treasure finds are taken from metal detectorists and placed in museums where over time they make an absolute fortune from not only displaying the finds but also making money from the copyright of all the pictures of the finds that are used in books and magazines (the metal detectorist gets nothing from this). There are also many metal detectorists that in my opinion do not receive a true valuation for their finds. 
So the British public is underpaying the Treasure hunter to dig up Britain's archaeological heritage to sell back to the public (whose heritage it is, isn't it)? So, it's the Gubn'mint who are robbing buggers or the Treasure Valuation Committe are incompetent lying buggers Ian? Let's be precise who it is you think are ripping Treasure hunters off. I mean it would not be Treasure hunters wanting to rip the rest of us off would it?

I'd also be interesting to see in a continuation of that thread an estimation just how much of a "fortune" the average provincial museum "makes over time" just because it has another broken pot with a pile of coins beside it on display. One million a year? Two? Or actually barely enough extra cash from extra visitors to cover the cost of buying a secure case, conserving and cataloguing all those coins, and getting somebody to clean around yet one more case?

As for the "copyright", we have seen other detectorists banging on about how much money, in their opinion (experience?) they can make from selling rights to photos. Fancy those museums retaining copyright of photos they have commissioned of objects in their collection which they have cleaned, preserved and mounted !! Quite obviously these Treasure hunters think this is an injustice, apparently museums should pay for the photographer, but immediately assign all rights to the person from whom they bought the ripped-out find. By what rationale?


TAKE A GOOD LOOK at this, for these are precisely the sort of people the PAS wants to grab more and more millions of public quid to make into the "partners"  of the British Museum, archaeological heritage professionals and to whom they want us all to entrust the exploitation of the archaeological record. Take a good look and decide what you think about that as a "policy". 

Vignette: plank

3 comments:

heritageaction said...

"Personally I think that the government are a bunch of robbing buggers and would do anything they can to acquire metal detecting finds as cheap as possible."

Fascinating, coming from a member of a group that has taken home about 286,137 artefacts belonging to farmers so far this year and has just been taking bottles of Xmas wine round trying to give the impression that makes it fair, and they haven't massively hoodwinked them.

There's no need to license metal detecting. An IQ test for prospective purchasers would solve all the problems in a jiffy. No need for outreach then.

Ronald Pagel said...

And his source of information" obviously is the MoneySupermarket (sic) webpage "6 Awesome Treasure Hunt Finds by Amateurs" ("And if we haven't got you reaching for your metal detectors yet, we would just like to a add that metal detector dealers should inform the customers about the unwritten rules of metal detecting.

Paul Barford said...

"should inform the customers about the unwritten rules of metal detecting", and they are? Why can't you write them down?

 
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