I have given the CBA's request for a review of the Treasure Act some
publicity on my weekly 'World Archaeology News' on BBC Radio 5 Live's Up All
Night programme tonight. To be broadcast at 3.35am, it can still be heard
for a week on BBC iPlayer from tomorrow at
On 11 October 2010 14:51, Mike Heyworth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> The Council for British Archaeology has asked the DCMS Minister for
> Culture, Communications & Creative Industries Ed Vaizey MP to move forward
> with the long-awaited review of the Treasure Act as soon as possible. In a
> statement on the CBA web site (
> http://www.britarch.ac.uk/news/101011-treasureactreview) I said:
> "The review of the Treasure Act was due to have taken place back in 2007.
> We are writing to the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative
> Industries Ed Vaizey MP to ask him to ensure that the long-promised review
> happens as a matter of urgency. It was a tragedy that the Crosby Garrett
> helmet has now apparently disappeared into a private collection and may
> never be seen in public again. This is not in the public interest, and it is
> certainly highly frustrating for all the supporters of the fantastic appeal
> to raise funds to keep the find in Cumbria in a public museum where it
> surely belongs.
> The CBA believes that the definition of Treasure should be extended to
> incorporate Roman base metal hoards and single finds of Roman and
> Anglo-Saxon coins made of precious metal.
> At the same time the CBA will be asking the Culture Minister to speak with
> colleagues in the Ministry of Justice to move forward with the
> implementation of aspects of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 which relate
> to the Treasure Act."
> This follows on from an earlier column I wrote for the CBA's 'British
> Archaeology' magazine published earlier this year on metal detecting and
> treasure - see http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba111/update.shtml.
> I have written to Ed Vaizey today as follows:
> "Dear Minister
> Treasure Act review
> In an article published in the CBA's British Archaeology magazine earlier
> in 2010 (copy attached) I called for the long-awaited review of the Treasure
> Act (originally promised for 2007). The review will provide an opportunity
> for the Government to consider the extension of the definition of Treasure
> to include base metal hoards of Roman date (which can be achieved without
> the need for primary legislation). Had this opportunity been taken in the
> last three years then the nationally important Crosby Garrett helmet would
> have fallen within the definition of Treasure and it is likely that it would
> have remained in public hands. It is a tragedy that the helmet may never
> been seen in public again, though if there is an attempt to take it out of
> the UK then I would urge you most strongly to use your powers under the
> export licensing regime to provide a further opportunity for the helmet to
> be purchased by the Tullie House Museum in Cumbria.
> We appreciate that there are a number of high priority issues demanding
> your attention, but the CBA urges you to press ahead with the review of the
> Treasure Act as soon as possible. At the same time we would encourage you to
> work with Ministers in the Ministry of Justice to implement the related
> measures agreed as part of the Coroners & Justice Act 2009 which will
> strengthen the effectiveness of the Treasure Act.
> The implementation of the Treasure Act relies on the network of Finds
> Liaison Officers in place across England and Wales through the Portable
> Antiquities Scheme. We hope that with the future demise of the MLA it will
> be possible to transfer the Scheme to the management of the British Museum
> with sufficient resources to ensure that the Scheme is able to maintain its
> nationwide coverage."
> This follows on from a letter from the officers of the All Party
> Parliamentary Archaeology Group published in 'The Times' on Saturday (9th
> October) which reads:
> You report (8 October) the sale at auction, to an anonymous buyer for £2m,
> of a Roman helmet discovered by a metal detectorist at Crosby Garrett in
> Cumbria. This was six times more than the pre-auction estimate and,
> unfortunately, considerably above the £1.65m raised by the Tullie House
> Museum in Carlisle, in a short time and with strong local and national
> support, in the hope of the museum being able to acquire the helmet.
> Surely an object of this archaeological importance should go to a public
> museum, preferably within the region where it was found. There is, however,
> a deficiency in the legislation intended to secure this. A review of the
> Treasure Act was due in 2007 and is now clearly overdue. The Act has worked
> well in many circumstances, for example with the Staffordshire Hoard. We
> believe, however, that the definition of treasure should be extended without
> further delay to ensure that the public interest is more reliably
> safeguarded in the future. This can be done by order and does not require
> primary legislation.
> Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn (Chair, All Party Parliamentary Archaeology
> Lord Howarth of Newport (Vice Chair)
> Lord Redesdale (Secretary)
> House of Lords
> London SW1 0PW"
> The CBA is encouraging everyone to use the new DCMS facility to put email
> questions to Ed Vaizey (see
> http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/news_stories/7476.aspx) to ask for a
> timetable for the Government review of the Treasure Act.
> It would also be helpful to ask your local MP to raise this with DCMS as
> Ministers are then obliged to respond.
> APPAG officers are also seeking an opportunity for a debate on these issues
> in the House of Lords.
> Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, Director, Council for British Archaeology
> St Mary's House, 66 Bootham, York YO30 7BZ, UK
> tel 01904 671417, fax 01904 671384, web www.britarch.ac.uk
> A Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England 1760254 &
> Registered Charity 287815. Join CBA/YAC at www.britarch.ac.uk/shop
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