Government consults on proposed changes to the Treasure Act 5/2/2019

The Government is consulting on its plans to revise the Treasure Act, widening the definition of treasure so that more artefacts can be acquired by museums. Currently an object must be more than 300 years old and be made of gold or silver or found with precious metals. In these circumstances, if an owner cannot be found the object is then defined as treasure and belongs to the Crown. However, some significant objects are excluded by these rules, such as the 1,700 year old Crosby Garrett helmet, found by a metal detectorist in 2010 and sold privately for £2.3m because it is made of copper alloy. Arts Minister Michael Ellis is now consulting on broadening ‘treasure’ to cover all finds worth more than £10k. It would also become illegal to buy an undeclared item. The deadline for the consultation is 11.45pm on 30th April. Gov.uk (consultation), Gov.uk (press release)