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Here’s a video praising a detectorist who donated a treasure find, gratis. But why? This was a decent man, doing what he should and knowing the find was never his and the rewards were never meant to benefit him, only to incentivise those who would steal the public’s heritage without one! So praising him actually insults him, for it implies he might be the sort of person he patently isn’t.

So in future, let’s drop the”praise”, just like we don’t praise people leaving Tescos not carrying stolen goods. Praising normality while rewarding those with less scruples is an ugly look (and doesn’t work: 90% of detectorists take the money and often ask for more!)

Hopefully, the Treasure Act reforms will change things by making it far clearer to detectorists that rewards are not an entitlement, and that taking them is the opposite of being an amateur archaeologist, still less a hero.

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Tesco customer lauded for not stealing.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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