Great news for the Bulgarian Metal Detecting Federation who on December 18th signed a contract to implement a new Project titled “Increasing the participation of the civil sector in the processes of formulation, implementation and monitoring of policies and legislation in the field of metal detecting”. The BGN89,954 (€46,000) total cost will be shared between the Bulgarian National Budget (15%) and the remaining 85% provided through the European Social Fund, with a target date for completion by June 18th, 2020.
Bulgaria has seen an increase in popularity of metal detecting in recent years but with that has come some regulatory obstacles, many of them shared by other European countries. However, through this project Bulgarian detectorists will hopefully be better integrated into the Bulgarian National Heritage work and able to contribute much more in an Official capacity. The Target Groups for the project are;
• Group 1 – Administrative structures such as Ministry of Culture, Museums, archaeologists and other Heritage workers.
• Group 2 – Businesses of any kind involved with supplying equipment or services to the metal detecting groups and heritage recovery activity.
• Group 3 – General Public, including detectorists, schools and teachers, students. So, for Group 2 & 3 its especially good news.
There will be better information regarding the benefits of responsible metal detecting to the Museums and Archaeologists and more clarification to all target groups and stakeholders surrounding the rules and policies of metal detecting in Bulgaria. The project will cultivate a better understanding and agreement re the correct processes and rules when excavating finds by non- professional archaeologists such as detectorists. This positive enterprise will initiate proposals to allow clear and transparent metal detecting legislation. There will be research and analysis of good detecting arrangements and legislation within the European Union, the development of effective finds databases and the transfer of “Best Practice” from other areas where identified. Through proper implementation there will be established a Regulatory Framework which will remove the previous “criminalization” of metal detecting and the unfair treatment of detecting equipment suppliers and manufacturers, practice which are now regarded as having been harmful to Bulgarian Cultural Heritage.
The Project Objectives are;
• Affiliate Management with the general public and businesses. This will allow a closer Official relationship between the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture and the Bulgarian National Metal Detecting Federation.
• Open and Responsible Management. Openness and Responsibility already fit in well with the Bulgarian detecting community and are much welcomed.
• Improving services and creating a better regulatory environment. The Bulgarian MDF fully supports the need for sensible and workable detecting legislation.
Bulgaria has a proud tradition of responsible metal detecting and is a founding member of the European Council for Metal Detecting. Through Unity and Respect the ECMD has flourished and we look forward to Bulgaria playing a big part in ECMD successes in 2019. Each country’s detecting laws are different and the role of the ECMD is to bring all countries together to share experiences and develop good working practices. We hope this exciting project will shine a light for other countries to learn from. Bulgaria is a melting pot of Greek, Slavic, Ottoman and Persian influences and we look forward to hearing of how the Bulgarian detecting community will be integrated into National framework of heritage recovery and recording of historical data for all of the people of Bulgaria.