Friday, 17 February 2017

Metal Detectorists Taking Grievances to the European Parliament

The 'European Council of metal Detecting' exists to 'promote, protect and encourage' the collection-driven exploitation (CDE) of the archaeological record. It was formed with the connivance of the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme and is now lobbying to get pilfering the archaeological record for collectables for personal entertainment and profit made legal in other countries of the EU. To this aim the hoikers got tarted up in suits and visited the European Parliament this month (ecmdeu, 'ECMD at the European Parliament' February 11, 2017). They just do not get it:
ECMD believes strongly that responsible metal detecting should be treated fairly in all European countries.As promised earlier, we’ve also started lobbying at the European Parliament in Brussels, hoping that eventually one standard of practices related to detecting will be adopted throughout Europe.
Bird eggers probably would be saying the same if was still legal in the UK. Fortunately since Britain will soon be excluded from the EU, the standard we'll be adopting here will not be theirs. In the photo, smug Polish tekkie Filip Jarosz meets Polish climate-change denying MEP Janusz Lewandowski.

 Basically you'd have to be a complete moron to claim anything like this:
Some authorities are not adequately educated about the topic of metal detecting. As a result, metal detecting is governed by ambiguous and unfair laws in many different European countries. For example, it is entirely possible to accidentally come across an ancient artefact without actually intending to find it. However, simply finding such objects is illegal in some countries. As a result, many people are forced to hide their accidental discoveries in order to avoid getting prosecuted, as opposed to simply informing a museum or an archaeologist about their find.
Heritage professionals in all EU countries are perfectly well 'educated' and they know all about collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record. The laws are no more unfair on those that want to privately and destructively exploit a common resource for their own personal entertainment and profit than those conserving any other resource for the public good. And Mr Jarosz will no doubt be able to give us examples of the legislation that make the accidental discovery of artefacts 'illegal'. That is the type of '\alternative fact' that artefact collectors use to support their case. The rest of us call that simply lying.

Anyway these poor lost souls really need to clue themselves up about how EU institutions work, it is not the European Parliament that will decide common cultural European policy, but the Council of Europe, and they already have a perfectly clear (and 'educated') 'Resolution on metal detecting' (no. 921) which shows clearly what is what. It in fact advocates strengthening the laws to prevent CDE of the archaeological record (points 9 and 14). These new attempts by heritage-pocketers make even more urgent the task of putting these measures into effect.


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