Treasure Act Code of Practice review launched

The DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) has just launched a new three-month consultation on the Treasure Act Code of Practice.

The Council for British Archaeology has been pressing for this long-overdue consultation to be launched for many years so this is  welcome opportunity to debate some of the practical issues about the current implementation of the Act, as well as initiating a dialogue about some more fundamental issues which underpin our present approach to Treasure in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Scotland has its own separate system).

Announcing the consultation, Heritage Minister Michael Ellis said, “The search for buried treasure has captivated people’s imagination for centuries. And in recent years the number of finds has continued to increase. However some outstanding artefacts of great archaeological and cultural importance have been lost to private sellers simply because they do not meet the current criteria for treasure. These new proposals will help our museums acquire these treasures and make it harder for nationally important finds to be sold for personal profit.”

The deadline for responses is 30 April 2019 and the CBA will be working with key partners across the heritage sector to frame responses to the questions raised by the consultation. The All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group will also be looking at the consultation options in the coming weeks.