Detroit preservationists oppose 'American Diggers' TV show

Concern expressed over historical preservation

DETROIT - Not in our backyard.

That's the message Detroit-area preservationists are saying in response to the cable TV program "American Diggers."

The reality TV show on the Spike channel encourages viewers to dig for historical relics to turn them into profit. 

Bob Hovansian of Preservation Detroit said he dislikes the premise of the show.

"No matter how you slice it, the people that are doing these kinds of things for personal profit and not for public gain are really unscrupulous and unconscionable," Hovansian said.

Melanie Markowicz of Preservation Detroit said the show's encouragement for viewers to come to the city of Detroit to dig for buried treasure sends the wrong message.

"Shows like these on Spike and National Geographic unfortunately only encourage destruction and looting not only of archeological sites, but our historic buildings and treasures," Markowicz said.

Havonsian said he is troubled with the way the show tells viewers they should go out to look for artifacts.

"It's almost like a sense of entitlement and I think in society it's been kind of the case lately and we need to have respect for each other," Havonsian said.

Reality shows like "American Diggers" may tell Americans if there is anything left in our country that is not for sale.

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