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Bulgarian Culture Minister stands by decision: metal detectors require registration

Author: Rene Beekman Date: Thu, Feb 11 2010 13 Comments, 10013 Views
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Possession and use of a metal detector in Bulgaria requires registration with the Culture Ministry and lack of such registration was a crime, Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov said on February 10 in reply to a letter from Ilia Iliev, head of the Bulgarian National Federation of Metal-detecting.

Iliev had objected to the tip-off that Rashidov send to law enforcement agencies in January 2010, saying the that members of the federation did not possess the required registration.

The federation had been registered as a not-for-profit organisation in the Bulgarian town of Lovech on December 2 2009. Registered activity of the federation was "metal detecting," or finding metal objects with the aid of metal detectors, a Culture Ministry media statement said.

Possession and use of metal detectors for this purpose has been regulated by the Culture Heritage Act and requires each metal detector to be registered with the Culture Ministry. Members of the foundation did not file for such a registration, the ministry said.

The issue is contentious in Bulgaria, where all archaeological finds, including old coins, are considered state property and unauthorised digs are a crime. Efforts to legalise the open use of metal detectors have consistently been rebuffed by state bodies, which have treated it as attempts to legalise tomb-raiding.

  • Profile preview
    philiprouse Rating: 8
    neutral
    #13 14, 13, Tue, Jan 08 2013

    I note no further comments have been made since April 2011 regarding this extremely contentious matter, whilst we worked last season under the parameters of the ministry of culture the members of the local community were driving & walking past us carrying spades ,metal detectors & also offering us advice on,where the best places were to dig , it also itseemed that the concensus of the powers that be were,that this site of the greatest importance to the Bulgarian Heritage was in fact so badly damaged that it should be left to the continued depredations, of the robbers, further to [...]

    Read the full comment this I saw little in the Media that the international congress of Roman Frontier Studies was Taking Place in Bulgaria in October having the attendance of 400 of the worlds leading Archaeologists,Trust me these people Are Not blind to the situation regards the trafficking of bulgarias national treasures, this I fully believe is not being carried out by genuine metal detecting "Hobbyists" Who can carry out Extremely Helpful Field Work & studies of the disribution & location of metal objects in previously unsuspected locations many are dedicated & expert historians in their own field & do not deserve to be insulted by being labled as looters & thieves, we all are well aware who these culprits are!!!?

  • Profile preview
    philiprouse Rating: 8
    neutral
    #12 12, 46, Tue, Jan 08 2013

    I am an archaeologist researching prehistory ,Thracian Roman & Romano / bulgarian history, during a legitimate excavation last year students & staff were informed that only the site director was allowed to use a detector on site, following this we were then informed that we were not allowed to excavate until the minister for culture Gave his signature, all we were allowed to do was tidy up damage caused to the site by locals

  • Anonymous
    Gaz Rating:
    neutral
    #11 13, 50, Tue, Apr 05 2011

    So if i use a detector in Bulgaria will i be arrested?

    Evaluation
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  • Anonymous
    ady clegg Rating:
    neutral
    #10 01, 40, Thu, Sep 02 2010

    can any one a tell me if you allowed on beaches in sunny beach

  • Anonymous
    Gary Cullen Rating:
    neutral
    #9 14, 29, Sun, Jul 25 2010

    The bestway forward is to set up a non-governmental metal detecting federation that issues the licence to members who can be asked by archaeologists to assist in their searchs ,Any federation member who commits a crime eg nighthawking or detecting on listed protected sight should be banned from ever owning a metal detector again and be subject to police scrutiny from time to time ,The britsh metal detecting federations i am a member of work hand in hand with museums and if a valuable find is located the finder is given a reward for locating any artifacts ,But sadly too [...]

    Read the full comment many goverments wont reward anyone for being honest and handing over the locations and the finds,thats how night hawking begins !!!! play fair and get your treasures handed over and reward the finder with the the appropriate reward as they deserve just like the uk and you will see a big change in detectorist who will get licenced and hand over the finds .....

  • Anonymous
    andy Rating:
    neutral
    #8 21, 49, Sat, Apr 10 2010

    hello Tanya did you find out where you get the paperwork?info would be great.thankyou.

  • Anonymous
    hassan Rating:
    neutral
    #7 21, 58, Wed, Mar 10 2010



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  • Anonymous
    peter Rating:
    neutral
    #6 15, 57, Mon, Feb 15 2010

    Years ago i was told that if you own a company and have some contract with a museum you're allowed to own and use a metal detector. i think this could actually work if the right people could be found to check in the field. Too many of Bulgaria's artifacts are disappearing without any trace. Mostly sold to collectors in other countries. What a shame the so "proud" Bulgarians sell their history for peanuts.

  • Anonymous
    oscar Rating:
    neutral
    #5 05, 19, Sun, Feb 14 2010

    This minister is bord behind his desk nothing to do so this is the result..... Bulgarian politics puf!!!

  • Anonymous
    oscar Rating:
    neutral
    #4 05, 16, Sun, Feb 14 2010

    Are you Crazy!!! What are you talking about?? A metal detector is just a toy

  • Anonymous
    Detectorist Rating:
    neutral
    #3 16, 22, Fri, Feb 12 2010

    In Portugal we just have the same "problem". I say problem because the licenses simply does not exists for the simple and commune metal detectorist and so all still’s the same. Unfortunately, this type of legislation and law’s doesn't solve the big problem that is the destruction of arqueologyc contexts. If they take a look at the English example, I believe they will have something to learn about metal detectorism, metal detectorists and nighthawking.

    Evaluation
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  • Profile preview
    rene Rating: 8
    neutral
    #2 16, 55, Thu, Feb 11 2010

    Tanya, I'm sure if you call the Culture Ministry, they'd be able to tell you. You might want to give it a try :)

  • Anonymous
    Tanya Rating:
    neutral
    #1 16, 00, Thu, Feb 11 2010

    ...so if you have a metal detector how do you register and where? what paper work do you need?

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