April 19, 2012 – After years of law suits a US federal court ruled that a treasure valued at more than $500 million has to be returned to Spain. Thus, the private sea recovery firm that discovered the treasure in 2007 had to hand it over.
In 2007 the deep sea recovery firm Odyssey Marine Exploration discovered a miraculous treasure comprising over half a million silver coins and hundreds of gold coins. As this happened in international waters they claimed the treasure being their property. Spain, on the contrary, assumed this treasure to be part of a Spanish vessel sunk in 1804 and thus took court action in the USA. In the end Spain won the case but Odyssey Marine Exploration tried an appeal. Now, however, the US Supreme Court refused to overturn the federal court’s decision and decided that the treasure belongs to Spain. Hence, in February two military airplanes transferred the mass of ca. 17 tons of precious metal to Spain, probably forever.
Odyssey Marine Exploration can not even claim a reimbursement for the stocking costs amounting to ca. 315,000 euros. Thereupon the company’s vice president Melinda MacConnel stated: “They have failed to consider that in the future no one will be incentivized to report underwater finds. Anything found with a potential Spanish interest will be hidden or even worse, melted down or sold on eBay.”
The US federal court rule has been spread around immediately, you will read an article on the topic here.
Many information on this and other findings offers the website of Odyssey Marine Exploration.