Spanish demands for Gib treasure trove

LAST UPDATED: 22 Mar, 2012 @ 23:49
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Spanish demands for Gib treasure trove

By James Bryce

SPAIN is demanding the return of treasure currently being stored in Gibraltar, belonging to the controversial Odyssey haul.

The 59 coins and artifacts were part of a huge haul recovered from a sunken Spanish galleon before being illegally shipped abroad.

The haul, estimated to be worth as much as 375 million euros, was flown from Gibraltar to the US in 2007 before being returned to Spain last week following a five-year legal battle.

The 594,000 coins were recovered from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, by US salvage company Odyssey Marine Exploration.

It was sunk in the Straits by a British warship in 1804.

The Spanish government opposed the firm’s claim to the treasure and eventually won its battle after a court supported its claim to ownership of the Mercedes.

The Peruvian government also made a late claim to the trove after claiming that the coins had originated in Peru.

The treasure is now being stored at a secret location, with the culture ministry stating it will go on display at Spanish museums as part of the country’s national heritage.

It is not known how the small amount of treasure ended up being left in Gibraltar.

4 COMMENTS

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  1. The Spanish Government would have to ask the Government of Gibraltar or take legal action in the Gibraltar court. Can’t see that happening can we … even IF there was anything. Otherwise they can ‘demand’ all they like in the media and nothing will happen.

  2. The US courts did not support Spain’s “claim to ownership of the Mercedes.” The U.S. Court’s stated that they did not have jurisdiction. And the US Appellate Court made clear that it was not deciding ownership. If Spain thinks it owns the coins in Gibraltar the it should file a claim and battle it out with the others who are cliaming

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