But beyond this exceptional case, the outlook is bleak. The Government refuses to ratify a Unesco convention on illicit trade in cultural properties. Objects looted from historic sites all over the world constantly pass through London's sale rooms - good for trade figures but bad for the national image. Less dramatic finds, which are just as important for understanding our past, are removed in their thousands from our own historic landscape; only a small percentage are properly recorded before they are sold or lost, and the information they represent is destroyed completely. The legal protection for objects in the ground is limited and enforcement is often regarded as low
Rescue wants better protection for archaeological sites and the objects which are part of them, and urges immediate ratification of the Unesco convention as one step in this process.
The British Archaeological Trust