Spain continues to claim shipwreck treasure

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The Culture Ministry wants the US to return half a million gold and silver coins found in the Atlantic Ocean in 2007.

24 September 2008

MADRID -- Spain said Tuesday that it presented "abundant and definitive" evidence to support its claim to half a million gold and silver coins gathered from an Atlantic shipwreck by US salvage company Odyssey Marine Exploration in 2007.

In a statement, the Culture Ministry argued that the booty, which Odyssey recovered in May 2007, forms part of Spain's national heritage and therefore should be returned to the country.

Spain claims that the treasure, which experts value at EUR 500 million, came from the “Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes”, a Spanish warship sunk by a British fleet off the coast of Portugal in 1804.

The case is currently in court in the US state of Florida where Odyssey has its headquarters.

Odyssey never confirmed the identity of the ship, which it code-named the “Black Swan”.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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