The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, October 23, 2014


Treasure from Spanish shipwreck that sank off Portugal's Atlantic coast shown for the first time
A block of encrusted silver coins from the shipwreck of a 1804 galleon, on its first display to the media at a ministry building, in Madrid, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Spanish cultural officials have allowed the first peep at 16 tons (14.5 metric tons) of the shipwreck, 'Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes' a treasure worth an estimated $500 million that a U.S. salvage company gave up after a five-year international ownership dispute. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza.

By: Alan Clendenning, Associated Press

MADRID (AP).- Spanish cultural officials allowed a first peek Friday at some of the 16 tons (14.5 metric tons) of shipwreck treasure worth an estimated $500 million that a U.S. salvage company gave up this year after a five-year ownership dispute.

Only a tiny portion of the haul from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, a galleon that sank off Portugal's Atlantic coast near the straits of Gibraltar in 1804, was shown to the media: 12 individual silver coins, a block of encrusted silver coins stuck together after centuries underwater, two gold tobacco boxes and a bronze pulley.

Authorities who have been inventorying the treasure since it was flown from Florida to Spain in February said it will be transferred later this year from Madrid to the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology in the Mediterranean city of Cartagena. Displays are expected to start next year, with some items put on rotating temporary displays at museums across the country.

Though previous estimates have put the value of the treasure at $500 million, Spanish officials said they weren't trying to determine an amount because the haul is part of the nation's cultural heritage and can never be sold under Spanish law.

"It's invaluable," said Elisa de Cabo, the Culture Ministry's deputy director of national heritage. "How would you put a price on the Mona Lisa?"

Spain took possession of the treasure after courts rejected arguments that Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration was entitled to all or most of the treasure. De Cabo said Spanish authorities are still trying to convince a judge in Tampa that the American company should also be forced to pay Spain's legal costs.

Officials said Friday that the weight of the treasure was not the 17 tons reported during the legal fight because that included a ton of sea water used to help preserve many of the silver coins in storage containers.

The inventory counted 574,553 silver coins and 212 gold coins.

Odyssey had argued that the wreck was never positively identified as the Mercedes. And if it was that vessel, the company contended, then the ship was on a commercial trade trip — not a sovereign mission — at the time it sank, meaning Spain would have no firm claim to the cargo. International treaties generally hold that warships sunk in battle are protected from treasure seekers.

Odyssey lost every round in federal courts as the Spanish government painted the company as modern-day pirates. The company has said in earnings statements that it has spent $2.6 million salvaging, transporting, storing and conserving the treasure.

The metals were mined and the coins minted in the Andes, from places that are now in Bolivia, Chile and Peru.

Spain overcame a last-minute effort by the Peruvian government to block the transfer of the treasure back to Spain. Peru did not gain its independence until 1824, but the country's lawyers argued it was more than a simple colony at the time because it was the local seat of the Spanish crown when the ship sank.

Spain's Queen Sofia promised in a visit to Bolivia several months ago that some of the treasure would be loaned to the country for display in museums.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.





Today's News

December 1, 2012

Museum of Ethnology celebrates Samoa's 50th anniversary of independance with exhibition

Sotheby's New York to offer Property from The Estate of Giancarlo Baroni early next year

Christie's announces Sale of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, including Americana

Treasure from Spanish shipwreck that sank off Portugal's Atlantic coast shown for the first time

China media slams Elton John for dedicating his Beijing show to dissident artist Ai Weiwei

At nearly 80, Yoko Ono tries something new: Unveils her first ready-to-wear fashion collection

New technology resurrects ancient Chinese cave at Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery

The Whitney Museum of American Art announces curators for 2014 Whitney Biennial

Mayas barred by authorities from performing rituals at their ancestral temples in the Maya region

Milwaukee Art Museum announces Lisa J. Sutcliffe as new Curator of Photography

Mexican artist Teresa Margolles wins the £40,000 Artes Mundi 5 International Art Prize

World's first "Spidernaut" lands at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Hammer Museum presents Game Room: Visitors invited to engage with analog, multi-player games

Exhibition at The Fine Art Society tells the story of Carving in Britain from 1910 to the present day

Grayson Perry tapestries gifted to the Arts Council Collection and British Council

New sculptures of transformation and drawings by Rebecca Horn on view at Studio Trisorio

Clars to offer collection of important arts & crafts pottery and contemporary studio pottery

John Paul's artifacts, memorabilia to come to US

Bonhams to auction rare Patek Philippe wristwatch in bi-coastal December auction

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site