Monday, 11 August 2014

Focus on Metal Detecting: UK Artefact Hunter Ignores Local Laws

Making off with the loot
I found this search term had been used on the PACHI blog last night (Bt 86.***.71.** from Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, United Kingdom): "places of intereset (sic) in France for metal detecting". Fortunately my blog only showed him or her the text from 26 January 2014, 'Illegal Metal Detecting in France' (which I bet they did not understand because it assumes the reader knows what the relevant French laws are, and I guess this muppet does not). It it is a shame that the reader did not search deeper and find this:  'French sites pillaged by wannabe archaeologist' (The Local 30 Jul 2014 - quoted here, variant here) that:
Desforges said many of the "pillagers" come from the UK and France's other neighbouring countries to hunt for archeological treasure and sell it abroad. "In Normandy and part of northern France a lot of English will come over with metal detectors and scour the battle fields from the First and Second World Wars. It is the same along the border with Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany where these people will cross into France to search war battlefields and take what they found back to their country," he said. Every time something is dug up, Desforges says, "France loses part of its history and heritage each time."
Who are you Scunthorpe, and why are you apparently trying to use my blog for your immoral and illegal purposes? Just because you can do it in North Lincolnshire, you cannot do it in Limousin. If you try, I hope they catch you and jail you pour encourager les autres. And maybe, just maybe, it would be helpful if the PAS were to have on their vestigial "public outreach" website a word or two what UK members of the public, reading about the "great successes" of metal detecting in their own country can expect to happen if they try to engage in the same archaeologically destructive larks in almost every other country they might visit on holiday. That would seem to be a way the PAS can inform the public about portable antiquities issues, so the wider public gets some money's worth from that fifteen million quid.

See also here: PACHI Thursday, 12 June 2014: 'Archaeological Pillage in France: Le Monde'.

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