To assist museums in acquiring significant objects, the legal term of “treasure” may be expanded.
After a rise in the number of detectorists discovering historical artifacts, the language might be altered.
The Treasure Act of 1996’s wording will be modified, according to Lord Parkinson, Minister of Arts and Heritage.
He pointed out that because of the current phrasing, certain things have been lost to private possession rather than being seen by the general public at museums.
A piece is considered treasure under the present definition if it is at least 300 years old, made up at least in part of precious metals like gold or silver, or if it is a part of a hoard.
According to the proposed revisions, regardless of the metal type, this will be expanded to include outstanding finds that are at least 200 years old.
A museum may purchase an artifact instead of selling it privately to the highest bidder if a coroner determines that it satisfies the legal definition of treasure.
According to Lord Parkinson, “around 6,000 artefacts that have been shared with more than 220 institutions across the country” have been rescued because to the Treasure Act.
Yet, he continued, “at the moment, the definition of treasure is very specific.
According to Lord Parkinson, an object must be at least 300 years old, made of a valuable metal, or a piece of a hoard. “To prevent more significant items from slipping through the net, we want to make that wider.
“We are recommending amending the law to include a new significance test, make the definition something that is more than 200 years old, and allow it to be manufactured of any form of metal.