The "Responsible Detectorist” who advised people wishing to go artefact hunting with metal detectors in France to LIE is trying to pretend that this was not the intent of what he said:
should I reiterate that it is illegal in France to detect areas of known archaeological interest? However should I wish to help a farmer locate his tractor keys then I am doing nothing illegal with the correct permissions [emoticon].Notice how pocketing historical items found in the course of "looking for keys" (for which one does NOT need the permission of local government officials) is deceitfully depicted as "helping the farmer". One wonders, though, why a French farmer who'd lost the keys to his tractor would need to import artefact hunters from another country to do the searching for them. Do English farmers get on the phone to Danish metal detecting groups to ask for help in such cases or call the Dutch fire brigade if the farm cat gets stuck in a tree? That's just bonkers, but hey, when it comes to metal detecting, everything in Britain is bonkers.
But of course in reality this is more façadism of a fundamentally unprincipled group of people engaged in a hobby which consists of them taking for themselves what belongs to everybody. As Heritage Action point out:
for avoidance of all doubt, his advice was to British metal detectorists going to France to metal detect and wanting a search agreement to metal detect and it was to LIE: “Its best to specify that you are searching for modern losses as detecting is a rather grey area in France” . He hasn’t withdrawn it. An awful lot of British lies are going to be heard in France this Easter. Which is nothing new.