Thursday 24 November 2011

10 000 UK Metal Detectorists to Take the Pledge to "Become Lovable"?

Heritage Action has a proposal of: 'A way for artefact hunters to become lovable', (Heritage Journal 24/11/2011) and it concerns Treasurer rewards: “saving” the find means the museum giving the landowner and detectorist enough dosh to prevent them from not declaring the find and selling it on the side [while], the press reports invariably contain a standard quote from the detectorist -“The money’s not important, it’s the history” Heritage Action give the Treasure hunters the opportunity to "take the pledge".
It’s easier to renounce a portion of a theoretical sum of money than a real one so from today we are asking all detectorists to pledge, via the Comments section of this article, that if they find Treasure in future they will renounce at least 50% of their reward in order to make it easier for it to be acquired by Britain’s financially stretched museums.
(Whatever became of the ACCG "Museums fund" to help resolve the same problem? How many payments has it paid out?)


Cartouche1953 said...

Why not bring in legislation whereby the 'treasure' is valued at market prices and then 50% of this is charged as a 'conservation tax' and the remaining 50% is then split 50/50 with the finder and landowner.Surely a sensible solution?

Paul Barford said...

Well, not really because the money to pay the reward does not fall from the sky. It comes from the public money already set aside (or generated for) heritage/ conservation so not only is the public buying back its own heritage from "finders", but also it would be taxing itself in the process.

The money is raised by/granted to museums who want to acquire the objects. But your suggestion of them getting them at half market value would indeed be a start. I fear though that the "only innit fer th'istry" metaldetecting gang would raise a right royal fuss about that too.

kyri said...

paul,if we dont pay rewards,people will not declare anything and we will drive the whole process underground.i believe in realistic rewards for finders[but with a limit]some of the amounts paid out have been obscene. and heavy penalties for those who do not register a find[not a slap on the wrist,as it is now].blanket bans dont work.

Paul Barford said...

The law is the law. A finder of a Treasure or potential Treasure is obliged by the law to report it. Like if you find a person's dead body in the woods. The current reward for treasure is discretionary, not written into the legislation. So far the state has been entirely non-discretionary about to whom and when it is paid.

Let us call a spade a spade, people "going underground" means people deliberately doing something illegal. So what you are saying is that if we stop paying British metal detector users a reward for following the law they will all (?) stop following the law? They will all join the camp of the "nighthawks" unless we continue to pay them not to?

Would Britain like to deal with speeding offences and drunk driving not by punishing people who break the law but paying rewards for those that don't?

Anonymous said...

Offering a massive financial incentive is surely not the way to ensure compliance with the law. However it’s painted it’s a non-burgling bonus and it’s not right. It feels to me rather like conceding control of public affairs to a mob. What happened to the idea that crime should be controlled by punishment?

Incidentally Kyri the phrase “driving the process underground” is constantly used not just about the idea of lower rewards but also about licensing the activity – and not just by detectorists but PAS. If you actually examine the phrase you might conclude it’s not likely to happen to a damaging degree. Most detectorists wouldn’t break the law, only a few say they would so the worst that would happen is that 5% would defy the licensing system for a while. But currently 100% are operating without any licensing constraints. So what have we to fear?

Anonymous said...

just had to reply to this , what would make more sense and helpm the situation would be for valuations and payouts for people doing the right thing being speeded up two years or longer to find out what has been decided is an absolute joke, how about bringing it inline with the time you have to report treasure 14 days of declaring it .i can hear you all now thats a riduculous statement .yes your right and it touches a nerve does it not.
im sure mr barford thinks that all detectorists are only in it for the cash .and to point i agree with him there is a rougue element in our hobby . but how many of these so called public heritage items see the light of day for the general public they spend years and years in vaults . then when they do go to display them oh sorry they have been misplaced.

i feel sorry for those people that think everyone is the same because of the hobby they choose to do, and its an ever darker existence calling us thieves .

i think the truth lies much closer to home , you ranted last month about a hoard found and a mechanical digger being used , yet every week we see mr robinson and his cronies digging up places with a jcb . time team has more to answer for than detectorists, and you wonder why there is a constant bad air between detectorists and archiologists , try at least to get the facts correct before quoting snippets stolen from various forums,and lashing them together to make yourself look important. try using some of your research to impress us you may be suprised at the results .

Paul Barford said...

Nah. this blog is about detectorists, not for them. If they were interested in what I have to say or discussing that with me, they'd invite me onto their forums.

So you think that what some archaeologists use earthmoving machinery for is the SAME as what the detectorists I mentioned were using it for?

I do make an effort to get the facts correct, there is always the opportunity for tekkies like yerself to put the record straight, which you have signally failed to do here.

So you think it would "help" (what and whom?) if there was a rush valuation of Treasure finds so you can all get your DISCRETIONARY reward quicker? Does that not actually thoroughly reinforce the point I was making?

So which Treasure items have been bought by museums using public money and then hidden from the same public in "vaults"? Name and shame, who's been wasting public money financing metal detectorists?

Paul Barford said...

Ooooo, "copper coin" (new account, invisible of course) has a blog called "missing heritage". So is this about what detectorists hoik out of sites and don't report, or is it going to be about all those Treasure finds he mentions bought by museums and then "misplaced' in the "vaults"?

Anonymous said...

"Rouge" Mr Copper Coin? You ring a bell.

Could you be the same fellow - a member of the notorious Central Searchers?

If so, the idea of you meeting anyone else half way on the subject of heritage conservation is a grotesque joke.

Indeed, you've already supplied the joke - denying it's about money but demanding quicker payouts!

Anonymous said...

yo all had your chance to have your say on the blog i created but no replys so either put up or shut up and by the way i just googled central searchers as i had never heard of them , thanks for the great link .

enough said because you edit the posts to suit your own means, the topic is old and quite frankly boring me now ,i have more important issues to attend to my cats litter tray needs emptying chow for now

Paul Barford said...

Well, I rather think I am not lacking for chances to "have my say" on this blog, am I?

Yes, empty the cat tray, there's nothing worse than the little dears trampling in the poo and then jumping on your bed (is that cat's or cats'?).

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