$500 Million Spanish Treasure RecoveredBy: Shawn Hess - February 3, 2012
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia denied another motion from the Odyssey Marine Exploration Company to keep over $500 million in recovered treasure. The treasure was recovered by Odyssey in 2007 from a sunken ship off the Spanish coast. The coins were flown from Spain to a heavily guarded US location where they have remained. Spain discovered the recovery and filed a suit in Tampa, Florida claiming the treasure.
Spain won their claim in Tampa, Florida in 2009 but Odyssey appealed the decision in
Atlanta. With the rejection of this final petition by the Circuit Courts Spain’s Culture Ministry said:
“With the ruling by the appeals court, the process begins to recover all of the coins taken illegally.”
“We’re not going to use this money for purposes other than artistic exhibition, but this is something that enriches our material, artistic capital and it has to be appreciated as such.”
The coins were originally lost on the Nuestra Senora de las, a navy warship that was lost when British ships attacked the Spanish fleet in 1804. The Spanish treasure has crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice now. Once in 1804 and then again when it was transported to the US in 2008.