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It’s testament to how rotten is the state of heritage protection in Britain that nearly everyone found this amusing and nothing else: two detectorists found a hoard of Roman gold coins they thought might be worth £250,000 but later discovered they were worthless props left from the Detectorists TV series.

   [Credit – Andy Sampson / BNPS]

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But here’s the bit that’s not funny. Instead of taking them straight to the farmer they took them HOME and say they planned to tell him about them next day! £250,000 that wasn’t theirs, and they took it home without a word! What do Sainsbury’s call people who take goods home and say they’ll bring them back next day? And what if there had been just one of them and he’d fallen off his perch that evening? Lucky Mrs Oik, eh?

Bear in mind, on a smaller scale, up and down the country every week thousands of detectorists admit to taking things home without showing the landowner. And The Establishment says not a word. What a shame Sainsbury’s isn’t in charge. Both farmers and the country would be far better off. As things stand they are being betrayed by silence.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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