Saturday, 17 September 2016

Law abiding Detectorists Will Break Law

Heritage Action has drawn attention to a change in law in France ('French make fools of the Brexiting British') and the "responsible" reaction of the European Council for Metal Detecting (September 4, 2016):
 Overall, this is quite clearly bad news for the metal detectorists in France, as this new law will severely restrict their ability to participate in the cultural life of the [sic] French society and prevent them from contributing to the discovery and protection of archaeological heritage. We suspect that this will have a detrimental effect on the number of reported finds, as many people will lose their will to search for artefacts, while some may even try to sell them to private buyers, which is exactly what the new law is trying to avoid.
Well, of course the new law is not there to encourage a "will to search for artefacts". The aim of heritage preservation is to reduce the (merely) Collection Driven Exploitation of the Archaeological Resource for privatye benefit and direct it to public benefit. It is the detectorists who the ECMD are portraying as unwilling to participate in such a process to the detriment of their own selfish heritage-pocketing interests.   This is not in any way "participating in the cultural life of French society", private heritage pocketing is detrimental to the interests of French (and European) society. Note that the antithesis of private collecting by artefact hunters is shown only as illegally "selling finds to private buyers". Law-abiding detectorists will become law-breakers the moment you remove their ability to profit personally from going along with the law.

Well done ECMD for pointing this out.

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