The first European Council for Metal Detecting conference is scheduled for today and tomorrow in Birmingham. Regular readers will remember perhaps that I discussed this a few months ago (PACHI 22nd February 2016:'UK Artefact Hunters Want to Establish Hegemony to Threaten European Archaeological Heritage - and British Museum's PAS is Party to it'). As explained there, artefact hunters are hoping that through the ECMD, foreign artefact hunting and collecting organizations
can help establish a working relationship with their respective governments, the eventual aim being to to encourage the type of co-operation and recording of finds that has been so successful [sic] here in the UK [...] and with the power to advocate reform and influence existing National [sic] legislation. [...] The promotion of the benefits of the "English Model" will be a key factor in achieving these goalsSo, not an examination of the realities, pros and cons, just a spin-doctored version of the "benefits". Nothing new there, then. Characteristically the meeting is sponsored by Minelab and the Searcher.
Disturbingly, part of this British plan to undermine European preservation legislation was to invite the British Museum's Michael Lewis to come and strut his stuff.
There will reportedly be delegates from Ireland (who've already roped the all-too-willing PAS into supporting their anti-heritage cause), Bulgaria and now France . The Irish want it legalised there and the French want "un Treasure Act Francais" ("we hope to return with hopes to put pressure on our government") so Michael Lewis is a star ally for heritage pocketers to the West and heritage pocketers to the East.
The only hope is that according to the latest material, the guest speakers are only "invited" so maybe they aren't going and the conference has been called off? Did the BM's Learning, Audiences and Volunteers stuff do the decent thing and refuse to have their name associated with the attempt to spread the "English Disease" further on the Continent than Jersey? Is this conference going ahead? If it has been cancelled, it was done so very quietly, with no explanation - what would there be to hide? Or maybe it is a Secret Conference? If it goes ahead have some of the delegates, one wonders, made some arrangements to stay on a few days in laissez faire England to indulge in a bit of Le Hoik and a spell of O'hoiking?
What happens to the ECMD though if Britain Brexits? Those of us watching the way talk goes on metal detecting forums in the UK are of the opinion that almost every oik that has ever picked up a detector is going to be voting "Out!"
|Groupe Militante Pour un Treasure Act Francais, |
complete with FLO support
It is rather disturbing to see a heritage professional engaged in a project attempting to obtain "freedom' for collectors to undermine the heritage protection measures of neighbouring sovereign states. Has Mr Lewis actually read the 1970 UNESCO Convention and any of the other European documents? Does he assume that they somehow do not refer to him, that he is in some way an exception? Interestingly Mike Lewis's visit to the den of thieves is not mentioned in the PAS social media, not on facebook, Twitter or its own blog. Why the secrecy Mr Lewis?Pleased to say that I have met [...] Michael Lewis at a few events now, last one in Birmingham when the European Council for Metal Detecting was launched. He gave a wonderful presentation on how the PAS operates and all the country delegates enjoyed the content. At the end of the Conference I was voted in as General Secretary, so I hope to keep you all updated on what progress is made throughout Europe to obtain more freedoms to detect in a responsible manner, Liam [emoticon]