Spain awarded shipwreck treasure
- On 05/06/2009
- In Illegal Recoveries
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.