Treasure-hunting for Bulgarian antiques
Treasure-hunting in Bulgaria is banned but you can see many people scavenging the areas round historic places. they carry metal detectors and other equipment and can be seen normally at dusk. If you are a treasure-hunter you need to know that if you are caught there are serious sanctions. However if you accidentally find some antique objects which could be of interest to the museum, you should mind that according to the Art. 90 of the Ownership Act:
Properties buried in the ground, walled in or hidden in another manner, the owner of which cannot be found, shall become the ownership of the state.
- machine-minted coins and coin-like items that have no relevance for research and exhibition value, with the exception of especially rare and valuable specimens identified in accordance with this act as cultural values;
- machine-produced items which do not bear a signature or mark of their authors or are produced in large quantities, do not have significant cultural, scientific or artistic value or are not linked to the historical figure or event;
- works of art owned by Bulgarian or foreign authors, or those who are not older than 50 years;
- antiques, artwork, limited which are not older than 100 years, with the exception of especially rare and valuable specimens identified in accordance with this act as cultural values;
- residual material-waste substance, obtained from human activity, which has no functional or artistic purpose.
Trading with Bulgarian antiques, classified as 'cultural heritage'
Export of antiques 'cultural heritage'
If you are antique collector/trader and you want to export your antiques outside Bulgaria you need to obtain a certificate for export, issued by the Ministry of Culture. The rules for issuing such certificates are found in the Act and also in Council regulation № 116/2009