Colombia’s $20 Billion Treasure Recovery From 1708 Shipwreck

72

  • The Colombian government plans to retrieve treasure from a Spanish galleon that sank in the Caribbean in 1708. An investment of approximately $4.5 million is earmarked for this year’s exploration of the vessel.
  • The expedition’s location will be kept confidential to prevent other treasure hunters from reaching the wreck’s site.
  • The ship, known as the San Jose galleon, is estimated to contain gold, silver, and emeralds worth $20 billion, earning it the title of the “holy grail of shipwrecks.”
  • Laden with treasures gathered from various Spanish colonies in South America, the ship carried 100 steel chests filled with emeralds and millions of silver and gold coins.
  • Launched in 1698, the ship sank during a battle off the Island of Baru south of Cartagena while en route to Spain. Its wealth was intended for King Philip V of Spain and the royal coffers.

The Colombian government plans to retrieve treasure from a Spanish galleon that sank in the Caribbean in 1708. Hence, it will invest around $ 4.5 million this year to explore the vessel.

The expedition’s location would be kept a secret to prevent other treasure hunters from reaching the wreck’s site.

Per sources, the ship has gold, silver and emeralds, with her treasure amounting to $20bn. Hence, the San Jose galleon’s wreck has been called the “holy grail of shipwrecks.”

When it sank, the ship was laden with treasures accumulated from many Spanish colonies in South America. It is said to have 100 steel chests filled with emeralds and millions of silver and gold coins.

The ship was launched in 1698 and sank in a war off the Island of Baru south of Cartagena. It was on its way to Spain. The wealth was meant for King Philip V of Spain and the royal coffers.

Historians mention that the vessel met a British squadron close to Baru, and in the battle that followed, its powder magazines exploded, killing more than 500 crew members.

The ship was located by a 2015 expedition undertaken by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; however, they did not retrieve its treasure.

Most advanced technology would be exploited to explore the shipwreck at a depth of 2000 ft. Submerged robotic technology would be used to extract the treasure from the surface of the sunken ship in April and May.

The discovery of this vessel has started a conflict over its custody as Spain claims the treasure is theirs while Bolivia insists that the treasure belongs to the native Qhara Qhara nation, who were forced to mine the precious metals by the Spanish colonial government.

Meanwhile, President of Colombia Gustavo Petro wants to utilise the country’s resources to find and recover the treasure and ensure it stays in the country.

Officials added that the expedition was being undertaken more for cultural reasons, to understand how life was for those onboard the vessel before it met its tragic fate.

Juan David Correa, Miniter of the Culture of Colombia, said history is the treasure.

Did you subscribe to our daily Newsletter?

It’s Free! Click here to Subscribe

Source: lr.org