Expatica news

Ministry mulls action on 18th-century treasure

25 February 2008

MADRID – The Cultural Ministry said Friday that it was still studying whether it will ask a federal judge in the United States to prohibit the treasure-hunting firm, Odyssey Marine Exploration, from salvaging an 18th-century sunken ship 12 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

On Thursday, Odyssey told US District Court in North Carolina that it wanted to assume the custody of the wreck, which had been discovered three years ago by BDJ Discovery Group of North Carolina.

"Odyssey has agreed that it will commit the financial resources necessary to recover and document the ship and/or cargo in an archaeologically sound manner in compliance with any and all government agencies whose jurisdiction the shipwreck may," lawyers said in their filing. BDJ Discovery said it had already salvaged Spanish coins, emeralds and silver and gold bars from the vessel.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / MARTIN DELFÍN 2008]