Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Letter on Auction Sales of Artefact Hunting Spoils

Perhaps I beat all those concerned British archaeologists no doubt doing the same to it:
From: Paul Barford [ ]
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 5:18 PM
To: Charles Hanson [ ]
Subject: Lost treasures uncovered from beneath our feet
Dear Mr Hanson,
I read your column on the upcoming sale of metal detected items and have blogged about it here What is the legal position of these finds?

Have you documentation that each of them has been seen by the landowner on whose property it was found (and is) and awarded to the finder and stipulating how the proceeds of any sale are to be split? What other measures have been taken to ensure the finder has title to sell of each of these items?

As an antiquities seller, you should know that it was one of the recommendations of the 2009 nighthawking (illegal artifact hunting) report to oblige sellers to provide provenances and prove legal title.

This is also policy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (and I presume all of the objects you are selling have previously been responsibly presented by finder with the landowner’s agreement for recording by the PAS) “Advice for people buying archaeological objects from the UK: Five things to ASK”

eBay also has comparable “responsible buying” guidelines:
Yours sincerely,
Paul Barford

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