Wednesday 26 June 2013

Can heritage survive another hammering?

Matthew Slocombe, director of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings argues in today's Guardian "Can heritage survive another hammering?", 26 June 2013 ) that heritage cuts in Britain "will yield savings too small to help the Treasury, but risk huge damage to our future".
Vast numbers of people appreciate the historic environment as part of their daily lives and will notice the effect as its care erodes. The heritage sector accepts that public spending cuts are a fact of life, but we do not consider it right for heritage to be penalised beyond the level suffered by others. If heritage is hammered again, after the hammering of 2010, it will be looked upon by future generations as one of the greatest tragedies of the current cuts.
Never mind, all those metal detectorists are busy hoiking stuff out of the archaeological record for the public to gawp at, with just a few hundred enormous sums of money for culture going each year on their show-and-tell-and-hand-over fees. Could DCMS please tell us how much was paid out in Treasure awards in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and how that compares with budgets in other areas such as field survey of monuments?

Meanwhile  the British Government has announced that it will work with English Heritage to consult on establishing a charity to care for the historic properties in the National Heritage Collection on a self-financing basis.


Anonymous said...

"Could DCMS please tell us how much was paid out in Treasure awards in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012" ....

and indeed how many finders renounced their entitlement to help out the acquiring museums in these difficult times.

Paul Barford said...

and how much money could be saved for REAL heritage rescue if artefact hunting in the archaeological record of Britain was subject to a conservation-guided permit system, with all that this would entail?

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