LETTER : Scottish treasure

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The Independent Online
Sir: The article about metal detecting and Sir Anthony Grant's Treasure Bill (Section Two, 27 March) neglected to mention that the law is substantially different in Scotland. Here, all objects whose original owner or rightful heir cannot be identified are Crown property and can be claimed. When the Crown exercises its ownership rights, the finder is normally rewarded with the find's full market value.

The law is used to ensure that Scotland's material culture heritage is protected for of all. The system works well, and a fruitful co-operative relationship exists between responsible metal detectorists and archaeologists - to such an extent that an exhibition at the Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh features some metal detected finds. The "get rich quick" ethos does not exist here, and is rightly recognised as a chimera.

Dr Alison Sheridan

Treasure Trove Advisory

Panel Secretariat

National Museums of