Last week a high-up in the National Council for Metal Detecting told British detectorists planning to detect in France: “Its best to specify that you are searching for modern losses as detecting is a rather grey area in France”. How come? They’ll be going to France to search for historic artefacts not tractor parts, surely? Why say otherwise? Could it be because using a metal detector to search for historic items in an area of archaeological interest in France is illegal?
Is that OK with you Dear Reader – our fellow countrymen lying through their Anglo Saxon teeth in order to help themselves to France’s history against the wishes of the French? Bear in mind that such an attitude of personal entitlement can only have been fostered by the leniency and encouragement provided over here.
The French have every right to complain do they not? Why should they suffer because of our lack of regulation? Some of them have. See this, a translation of a statement by a group of French archaeologists (not a bunch of ill-informed amateurs then!) If you haven’t seen it before it’s probably because the British Archaeological Establishment has forgotten to tell you!
Update: The National Council of Metal Detecting “volunteer” is trying to pretend he didn’t advise British detectorists to lie:”should I reiterate that it is illegal in France to detect areas of known archaeological interest? However should I wish to help a farmer locate his tractor keys then I am doing nothing illegal with the correct permissions“. But for avoidance of all doubt, his advice was to British metal detectorists going to France to metal detect and wanting a search agreement to metal detect and it was to LIE: “Its best to specify that you are searching for modern losses as detecting is a rather grey area in France” . He hasn’t withdrawn it. An awful lot of British lies are going to be heard in France this Easter. Which is nothing new.