Spain awarded shipwreck treasure

Odyssey Explorer

From BBC News


A deep sea treasure-hunting company has been ordered by a US judge to hand over half a million gold and silver coins to the government of Spain.

The company, Odyssey Marine Exploration, raised the haul from a shipwreck in the Atlantic, suspected to be that of a Spanish naval vessel.

The Spanish government argued that the treasure formed part of the country's national heritage.

But Odyssey intends to appeal, saying it has a claim to the treasure.

This is just the latest round of a long-running and sometimes murky dispute, says the BBC's Steve Kingstone in Madrid.

The haul of coins - thought to be worth some $500m (£308m) - came to light in 2007, when Odyssey announced the recovery of artefacts from a wreck in the Atlantic.

It kept the location of the wreck secret, in what it said was an attempt to deter looters.


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