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 Post subject: Anyone here have a Metal Detector
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:30 am 
My mum is in her 60s and fancied a Metal Detector, but looking at the limited information available in English its a big nono. Has anybody got one in France and how easy is it to obtain a licence :-?


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone here have a Metal Detector
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:40 pm 
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Location: South Cumbria & Dept 36
Hi misti,

I looked into this subject also, and if you can make any sense of the law - then all I can say is, well done you!
I think your best bet would be to make contact with a metal detecting club in the area, but here is some info which may prove useful.

http://translate.google.fr/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=fr&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.la-detection.com%2Floi.htm&sl=fr&tl=en

http://www.sud-ouest-detection.com/mdurand_en.php

Quote:
In broad terms the law says that to search on any land be it your own or someone else's, not only do you have to have the landowners permission in writing, but by virtue of the fact that you are searching for objects which could concern/interest prehistory, art or archaeology you are required to obtain administrative authority from the Prefect of the Region. This authority comes in the form of a license which may be issued after reference to the searchers identity, competence, experience and method of searching. Regard is also taken of the location, scientific objective and the duration of the searches to be undertaken.

Basically at a minimum, you need a degree in Archaeology!

The law is very tight with regard to 'treasure hunting' battlefield sites, especially around Verdun;
Quote:
1. The battlefields of France have been declared to historical sites of the French state;
2. All items in or on the battle fields is owned by the state;
3. Taking something / or picking up is the theft of the French state;

How futile, rusty or trivial picked up the article may be the law condemns it as theft of the French state for which the fines are strict.

However, if they have the impression it has to do with tourists with a purpose other than a 'souvenir' pick is also another law (eg in the Somme, Champagne, Verdun, Meuse and Argonne)

Have in possession:
1. a detector, or
2. spades, digging tools (a garden spade is too much), or
3. parts or components of ammunition;

Then immediate confiscation of their vehicle until the fine (FF 20,000 / € 3100, -) is payed. The French government is willing to containment of the offender (s) until this decision is respected.


From what I understand, the only places one can freely use a metal detector, are public beach areas - but not any beach designated a battlefield site, which effectively rules out any beach in the North of France!

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone here have a Metal Detector
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:16 pm 
Its such a shame she only wants to look for old coins in the garden.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone here have a Metal Detector
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:24 pm 
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In that case you as the landowner should be no problem ? or am I missing something ? it seems the problem lies if on someone elses property , it is the same in UK you need the landowners permission and usually an agreement on 50 -50 re any finds !


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone here have a Metal Detector
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:13 pm
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Location: South Cumbria & Dept 36
GillyC wrote:
In that case you as the landowner should be no problem ? or am I missing something ? it seems the problem lies if on someone elses property , it is the same in UK you need the landowners permission and usually an agreement on 50 -50 re any finds !

You wouldn't think it would be much of a problem simply 'exploring' your own bit of garden.

I took my metal detector over simply to try and locate the route and depth of a pipe in the garden. Obviously, I chose to scan the whole of the garden and recovered a couple of old French Francs. A friend of mine in the next commune asked if I'd give his garden a 'going over', which I did but with no finds of hidden hordes of Napoleonic gold being found. His neighbour however a retired museum curator, informed us that technically a landowner could invite someone onto his land to search for a specific item - such as a lost wedding ring, tractor key, etc, and the 'request' should be in writing before the search begins.

Obviously, if during the search for the 'lost' item, one comes across a Napoleonic stash of gold, one would rebury it and forget the location for fear of repercussion. :roll:
But, if your property lies within an area of some recorded archaeological interest, then you could be committing an offence by using a metal detector to perform an indiscriminate search - even within the boundary of your own back garden!

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