Sunday, 17 April 2016

Britain's Heritage Crime: "We as a Nation have Taken our eye off the Ball"

A jobless 23-year-old Romanian-born lead thief from Birmingham has pleaded guilty to stealing lead worth £40,000 from churches in East Anglia and jailed for nearly three years. He was identified by the DNA on a cigarette butt found on the wrecked roofs of two Norfolk churches stripped a year apart. Norfolk Police continue to pursue the gang and it is understood Nitu may face deportation once he finishes serving his jail term of two years and eight months. There is now renewed focus on rural crime affecting the heritage, including theft of building materials roofing lead resaleable vintage stone slabs and bricks) as well as those who illegally pilfer archaeological artefacts from sites:
One senior curator with a major museum told the i: “There can be doubt that we as a nation have taken our eye of the ball. Our history is being pilfered from under our noses and the authorities are only just waking up to it. Safeguarding our past is incredibly important because without it we don’t know who we are.”
All those British archaeologists happily promoting artefact collecting please note. Just what is it you are doing?

Cahal Milmo, 'Judgement day for heritage crimes: new law will crack down on sinners who steal from churches',  April 15th 2016

Vignette: All Saints' Church Thwaite Hill, Norfolk. 

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