WHEN ferryman Robert Graham found the statue of a lioness buried in mud on the shores of the Firth o f Forth, never for a moment did he believe it could be worth a fortune.
Mr Graham, 37, regularly beachcombs in the area, but normally never finds anything of significant value.
His spare time hobby normally uncovers items swept overboard from passing ships, but yesterday it was confirmed the relic he found on the beach was an 1800-year-old Roman artefact worth at least [pounds sterling]50,000 to him.
The statue has been claimed by Edinburgh City Council and National Museums of Scotland, who are both responsible for paying Mr Graham.
Legally, he is not entitled to any reward because all lost property belongs to the Crown, but to encourage people who find ancient artefacts and treasure to turn them over to the Government, compensation is paid. An independent panel of experts has examined the statue and valued it, and Mr Graham will receive the market value of the piece based on the recommendation of the panel.
Mr Graham, who ferries people to and from Cramond and the Dalmeny Estate outside Edinburgh, claimed the true value would be higher than [pounds sterling]50,000.
He said: 'That's a bit on the low side. It's worth a lot more than that. I haven't received a penny yet. It's just a question of waiting to be paid. …