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.