Treasure Annual Report 2010

Download full report (1MB)

It is my pleasure to introduce the Treasure Act Annual Report 2010.

The Treasure Act 1996 continues to be a great success, ensuring that the most significant archaeological discoveries are housed in public museums for the benefit of all. 2010 was a record year, with the number of potential Treasure finds reported increasing to 860 in England and Wales, a 10.5% increase since the previous year. Of these items, 299 have been (or are to be) acquired by museums.

It is especially satisfying that the number of interested parties waiving their right to a reward for Treasure finds remains high, with 86 individuals waiving their share in 70 cases. These donations have allowed 37 museums to acquire finds that may otherwise have not been available for the public to study and enjoy. Similarly, many museum acquisitions have been made possible only through the kind assistance of funding bodies, particularly the Art Fund, Headley Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, National Heritage Memorial Fund and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund. I am extremely grateful to these organisations for their recognition of the importance of archaeological finds and their support of museums' efforts to acquire them. I am also impressed with local fundraising campaigns, and it is heartening to see so many individuals and organisations in local communities supporting the acquisition of Treasure items and investing in their heritage.

There are many others to whom I am indebted for the continued success of the Treasure Act, in particular the Portable Antiquities Scheme and its local network of Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs), to whom most finds of Treasure are reported. The FLOs role is vital in informing finders of treasure and landowners of archaeological best practice and their responsibilities under the law and they are also indispensable in facilitating the administration of Treasure cases. Together with curators, scientists and conservators at the British Museum and National Museum Wales, they also provide expert reports on Treasure finds for Coroners. I would also like to thank Coroners and their staff for their diligence in holding Treasure inquests. The Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum supports Coroners in England and serves as the secretariat for the Treasure Valuation Committee and I am grateful for their continued excellent work.

I would also like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of the Treasure Valuation Committee, which provided valuation recommendations for over 270 treasure cases from 2010. This summer marks the first year of Professor Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn's Chairmanship of the Committee, and he has brought a wealth of archaeological knowledge and experience to the post. I am thankful for the services of all of the Committee members, who voluntarily provide their time and expertise.

Ed Vaizey
Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries
December 2012