Treasure Annual Report 2009

The report can be downloaded as a pdf (229 kb).

The Staffordshire HoardI am very pleased to introduce the Treasure Act Annual Report 2009, which provides a report on the operation of the Treasure Act 1996 during 2009. The Treasure Act 1996 continues to be successful, ensuring that many of the most important archaeological discoveries are acquired by museums for public benefit. A further 778 Treasure cases were reported in 2009 and museums have acquired or are seeking to acquire 261 of these.

I welcome the fact that that the number of cases where one or more parties have waived their right to a reward has increased from 51 in 2008 to 71 in 2009, enabling museums to acquire such finds at no or reduced cost. Whilst I am grateful to all finders who have promptly reported Treasure in 2009, I am particularly appreciative of those public-spirited individuals who have waived their right to a reward.
I am keen to acknowledge the generosity of the funding bodies whose grants have enabled museums to acquire Treasure finds. My particular thanks go to the Art Fund, Goldsmiths Company, the Headley Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund, as well as the many individuals and organisations that helped fund the acquisition of the Staffordshire Hoard.

The success of the Treasure Act is in no small part due to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and its network of Finds Liaison Officers, who work closely with finders, advising them of their legal obligations, helping them report finds, and, together with curators at the British Museum and National Museum of Wales, writing reports on the items found. I am also very grateful to the curators and conservators at national museums, who have written reports for coroners and/or undertaken scientific analysis on Treasure, and also
those in the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum who have managed the Treasure process and ensured the prompt payments of rewards.

I would like to acknowledge the work of the local Coroners who hold inquests on Treasure cases. The Treasure Valuation Committee plays an essential role in the Treasure process, providing the Secretary of State with independent advice in the valuations of Treasure finds, and I would like to thank the members for all their hard work, especially Professor Norman Palmer, who stood down in May 2011 after serving on the committee for 14 years; for the last ten as Chairman. I have appointed Professor Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn as his successor.

Ed Vaizey
Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries
December 2011