2013 Mississippi Code
Title 39 - LIBRARIES, ARTS, ARCHIVES AND HISTORY
Chapter 7 - ANTIQUITIES
§ 39-7-17 - Contracts for salvage; surveys; excavation
The board shall be authorized to enter into contracts with other state agencies or institutions and with qualified private institutions, corporations, or individuals for the discovery and salvage of treasure imbedded in the earth, sunken or abandoned ships or wrecks of the sea, parts thereof and their contents. Such contracts are to be on forms approved by the attorney general. The contracts may provide for fair compensation to the salvager in terms of a percentage of the reasonable cash value of the objects recovered, or at the discretion of the board, of a fair share of the objects recovered. The amount constituting a fair share shall be determined by the board, taking into consideration the circumstances of each such operation. The reasonable cash value may be determined by contract provision providing for appraisal by qualified experts or by representatives of the contracting parties and their representative or representatives. Such contract shall provide for the termination of any right in the salvager or permittee thereunder upon the violation of any of the terms thereof. Superior title to all objects recovered shall be retained by the State of Mississippi unless and until it is released to the salvager or permittee by the board. No person, firm, or corporation may conduct such salvage or recovery operation herein described without first obtaining such contract. All such contracts shall specify, among other things, the location, nature of the activity, and the time period covered thereby, and when executed are to be recorded by the person, firm, or corporation obtaining such contract, in the office of the chancery clerk in the county or counties where such operations are to be conducted, prior to the commencement of such operation.
The board shall be authorized to conduct surveys to identify Mississippi landmarks on or under all lands and waters belonging to the State of Mississippi, or any county, city or political subdivisions of the state and to excavate or study all Mississippi landmarks. The board shall be further authorized to identify and excavate historic, architectural, or archaeological sites on private property, however, it is specifically provided that no such survey may be undertaken on private land without consent of the landowner and that no excavation may be undertaken on private land without the landowner's written consent.
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