So says David Connolly of BAJR ! He says our recent article about Ed Vaizey contained a good bit of “taking out of context”. Which is strange, as we quoted Mr Vaizey’s words verbatim and provided a direct link to the account of the PAS Treasure Report launch at which he said them. We also took the trouble to put them in accurate context:

“Ed’s remark echoes the one by his predecessor David Lammy, which caused massive offence (but it’s so much worse now against the background of redundancies and vicious funding cuts)….. And no, defining some of the artefact hunters as “responsible” does not make them praiseworthy! Archaeologists are responsible. People who run conservation websites are responsible. Bus drivers are responsible. So what’s special about these detectorists? They report their Treasure Finds – fantastic! But that’s just complying with the law like the rest of us do constantly without being hailed as heroes. And don’t forget, unlike almost anyone else in Britain they get massive rewards for doing so! “

Mr Connolly also said “frickin’ Heritage Action” had “started this nonsense with a classic misleading headline”. So he’s alleging that it was not Mr Vaizey’s words but our headline that set archaeologists off – which is a tad preposterous (and very insulting to archaeologists!). What about the forthright reaction to Ed’s words by Rescue, The British Archaeological Trust, made before our article (and which directly inspired our headline!) – which absolutely radiated a belief the Minister had insulted all archaeologists and heritage professionals:

“Absolute rubbish. Heritage heroes are the people who look after our heritage – not those that seek sordid profit from it. True “heritage heroes” are museum staff, local authority HER Advisors, the thousands of volunteers at local societies & academic researchers … As well as archaeologists, conservation officers, curators and conservators.”

Frickin’ Rescue – standing up for archaeologists instead of detectorists, eh Mr Connolly?! When you wrote to the Minister slagging us off did you slag them off too? Anyway, very sorry that we as mere members of the public stood up for the Heritage Sector at a time when it is suffering such financial cuts.


More Heritage Action views on metal detecting and artefact collecting