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Archaeologists have protested that National Geographic shows such as Diggers and Nazi War Diggers promote the looting and destruction of archaeological sites by promoting the work of metal detecting souvenir hunters and collectable dealers. In 2013 the National Geographic Channel set off a firestorm of controversy with its reality show Diggers. Professional archaeologists from the Society for Historical Archaeology, the largest scholarly group concerned with the archaeology of the modern world (A. D. 1400–present), roundly criticized the network for promoting the theft of cultural materials on public and private land. The show Nazi War Diggers was accused of showing unscientific and disrespectful handling of human remains. A promotional quote from a military relic dealer, "I feel that by selling things that are Nazi-related and for lots of money, I am preserving things that museums don't want to deal with," was removed from the channel's website in March 2014. National Geographic expressed regret for how the series was presented by its own website but maintained that many of the accusations against the series were based on misinformation. The program was subsequently pulled from the schedules while National Geographic reviewed allegations against the series. The show was repackaged, amid controversy, as Battlefield Recovery for air during 2016 on Channel 5 in the UK.

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