Warship's sunken treasure sparks international row

19th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

19 January 2006, ALGECIRAS — A complex international row has blown-up over millions of euros worth of treasure lying in the wreck of a 17th Century British warship which sank in the Straits of Gibraltar.

19 January 2006

ALGECIRAS — A complex international row has blown-up over millions of euros worth of treasure lying in the wreck of a 17th Century British warship which sank in the Straits of Gibraltar.

Spanish Ecologists have accused a US company of treasuring hunting on the wreck of the HMS Sussex which with EUR 4 billions worth cash and tonnes of gold and silver.

Ecologists in Action claimed the American company Odyssey Marine Explorations is not carrying out archaeological work where the HMS Sussex sank in the Straits of Gibraltar.

The high court in Andalusia has also ordered the American company to stop exploring the site of the wreck.

The HMS Sussex sank in 1694 in a storm off Gibraltar. It was carrying EUR 4 billion worth of cash and ten tonnes of gold and 100 silver ingots.

The ecological group has accused the American of ignoring the court order to stop exploring the site in a ship and instead sending items to a British laboratory for examination.

Odyssey Marine Explorations denies the claims and says under international law it has the right to explore the site.

Its ship 'Odyssey' has been in the area for several months.

The company claims to have signed a contract with a British archaeological team, which has the right under international law to explore the site as HMS Sussex was a British ship.

But Spanish campaigners claim that the expedition is to find the missing treasure, not for any archaeological ends.

It has been a long-running, complex row over who has the right to the treasure, because the ship was British, the Odyssey company is American and it  sank in Spanish waters.

Ecologists in Action claims 'Odyssey' has carried out "numerous"  trips over the wreck.

Now Andalusian nationalists have made a complaint to police about the American operation.

The captain of the Odyssey was called to appear in court on Wednesday but sent his lawyer.

The lawyer claimed the ship does not need the authorization of the regional government of Andalusia because the sunken ship was flying a British flag and under international law signed by Spain, the wrecks of ships can be explored by nationals from the same country.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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