Peru: Spain stole it first

By Lloyd Sowers - My Fox Houston

There is yet another twist in the international battle over a treasure trove of gold coins and other artifacts found by a Tampa company.

The country of Peru is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the imminent transfer of the half-billion dollar treasure from the U.S. to Spain.

The gold and silver coins were discovered by Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Explorations in 2007.

At the time, the find was estimated to be worth around $500 million to collectors, which would have made it the richest shipwreck in history.

Since then, Odyssey has been in a legal battle with Spain over who gets to keep the coins.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion by Tampa's Odyssey Marine Exploration to stop the transfer, so Odyssey officials agreed to give the Spanish government access, and said the company would not oppose the efforts.

Now, Peru is saying that silver and gold was essentially stolen by the Spanish from the people of Peru centuries ago.

Peru is asking the U.S. Supreme Court not to allow Spain to take possession of the treasure.

treasure OMEX Spain Peru Portugal

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