|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Sunday, April 23, 2017
|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.
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.- Comeback king or washed-up? British artist Damien Hirst's new show divides
2.- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, debuts Matisse in the Studio, revealing unprecedented insight into artist's mind
3.- Fondation de l'Hermitage exhibits masterpieces from the Bührle Collection
4.- According to study, prehistoric cannibals didn't just eat each other for the calories
5.- Statement concerning legal proceedings against Ida Ekblad
6.- Exhibition features the latest work of one of Cuba's leading contemporary artists, Carlos Luna
7.- Exhibition considers what is at stake when heritage is destroyed in war-torn region
8.- German art exhibit Documenta debuts shared Athens experience
9.- Berlin gives refuge to Rosa Parks' Detroit house
10.- Exhibition brings together John Constable's work during his little-discussed period in Brighton
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, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.