Non Executive Directorships

British Museum – Treasure Valuation Committee -Chair

Location: London

Date Posted: 01/02/2020

Closing Date: 24/02/2020

Vacancy Description

The post is not salaried, but reasonable travel and subsistence is paid.

The Treasure Valuation Committee provides independent advice to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on the fair market value of declared Treasure finds from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which museums wish to acquire. Its membership comprises experts on the range of antiquities submitted for valuation, on museums and their collections, and on the law relating to antiquities. In addition, the membership includes an individual drawn from those who represent the interests of finders.

The next few years will be an exciting time for the treasure process. In 2018 DCMS held a public consultation on the Treasure Act 1996 and its associated Codes of Practice to ensure that they continue to meet their aim of preserving important archaeological finds for the public. The new chair will play an important role in seeing through any changes over the next few years.

The role of the Treasure Valuation Committee is set out in the Treasure Act 1996 Code of Practice as follows:

  • to recommend to the Secretary of State valuations for the items brought before it which correspond as closely as possible, taking account of all relevant factors, to what may be paid for the object(s) in a sale on the open market between a willing seller and a willing buyer;
  • to provide advice to the Secretary of State in cases where there may be grounds for either no reward to be paid to the finder, or for a reduced reward to be paid, or where there is a dispute as to the apportionment of the reward between the finder and the occupier/owner of the land or between the occupier and a person having a superior interest;
  • to provide advice to the Secretary of State as to whether the finder of a Treasure case was an archaeologist (or a person engaged on an archaeological excavation or investigation) or not;
  • to issue guidance from time to time on the valuation of finds, which valuers and interested parties should take account of.

 

Role of the Chair

The Chair is responsible for leading the Committee in its work, and ensuring that its advice is delivered objectively and in a timely manner, keeping within the allocated budget. The Chair is responsible for building and maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with the British Museum and DCMS. On occasion, the Chair may be asked to act as the spokesperson for the Committee, such as when cases attract media interest or giving evidence as part of relevant consultations/enquiries.

The Chair will serve as the primary point of contact for the Secretariat and should be available to respond to queries between meetings (preferably via email but also by telephone if necessary).

Person Specification

Essential characteristics that candidates should be able to demonstrate:

  • Previous relevant experience with high-level committees or in a similar collegiate situation;
  • A leader who is able to build confidence and trust, especially during transformation and change;
  • Familiarity with the legal issues related to Treasure, and appreciation of the need to be seen to act within the spirit as well as the letter of the law;
  • An understanding of the wider political and administrative environment in which the Treasure Act 1996 operates;
  • A clear commitment to the delivery of the Committee’s remit.

 

Desirable characteristics for candidates to demonstrate:

  • Extensive experience of chairing committees or serving as a senior member;
  • A sound understanding of the Treasure Act Code of Practice and of the Treasure process; including  an understanding of the Committee’s discretion to advise the Secretary of State on valuations and the abatement of rewards;
  • Sensitivity to the wider cultural context surrounding the significance of historical finds and their preservation and presentation to today’s diverse UK communities.

 

Additional Information

Committee Members

  • Professor Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn. Chair. Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research (steps down May 2020);
  • Ms Marian Campbell, Former Senior Curator of Metalwork at the Victoria and Albert Museum;
  • Mr Christopher Martin, Proprietor and Managing director of CJ Martin Coins and Ancient Art, Ltd., and St. James Ancient Art. Chairman of British Numismatic Trade Association and Antiquities Dealers Association;
  • Professor Roger Bland, OBE, Former Keeper of Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory at British Museum. President of the British Numismatic Society and Vice-President of the Royal Numismatic Society;
  • Ms Hetty Gleave, Partner at Hunter’s Solicitors and an expert in Cultural Property Law;
  • Ms Harry Bain, Editor of The Searcher magazine; finders’ representative;
  • Ms Gail Boyle, Senior Curator at Bristol City Museum, Chair of the Society of Museum Archaeologists.

 

Duration of appointment

Members are generally appointed for five years, and may be re-appointed for a total period of up to ten years.

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • A CV of not more than two sides of A4;
  • A supporting statement of not more than three sides of A4, providing examples and setting out how you meet the criteria;
  • The two Monitoring Forms concerning your personal information and political activity, and the Declaration of Interests Form.

 

Completed applications should be emailed to: publicappointments@culture.gov.uk

Please put ‘Treasure Valuation Committee – Chair’ in the Subject line.

Alternatively, please send applications to:

James Emberley, Public Appointments Campaign Manager, Public Appointments Team, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 4th Floor, 100 Parliament Street, London, SW1A 2BQ.

If you have any questions about the appointment process please contact the DCMS Public Appointments Team at  publicappointments@culture.gov.uk

If you have any questions about the role please contact Rosie Weetch, Head of Cultural Property – Collections at DCMS at rosie.weetch@culture.gov.uk

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