Odyssey treasure is from Spanish warship, Spain says

"Black swan"

By Ben Sills

Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc.'s 17 ton-haul (15,400 kilograms) of sunken treasure from the Atlantic Ocean came from a Spanish warship and must be returned to the country, a lawyer said after an inspection of the artifacts.

Spain expects the new evidence from the inspection will persuade a U.S. court in Tampa, Florida, to order Odyssey to return the treasure without compensation, James Goold, a lawyer for the government, said at a press conference in Madrid today.

"What Odyssey has done is morally and legally unacceptable," Goold said. The company secretly stripped a Spanish ship of coins and other artifacts then tried to hide them by claiming that it did not know the identity of the ship.''

Representatives of the Spanish government visited Tampa last month to inspect the artifacts recovered from a wreck that Odyssey codenamed "Black Swan." Spain contested the company's claim to the wreck in a U.S. court case in Florida.

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