Is there more Odyssey treasure on Gibraltar?01-03-2012
There are claims that Gibraltar has been holding some of the items salvaged by the Odyssey Explorer.
Following recent differences of opinion voiced between Mariano Rajoy and David Cameron over Gibraltar, the Rock could find itself at the centre of a new row. As the 17 tons of gold and silver coins from the ‘Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes’ which sunk off the Algarve in 1804, were flying back from Florida on two Spanish Air Force Hercules, someone recalled that there is some more of the booty on Gibraltar.
Gibraltar was used as a base for part of the Odyssey salvage operation, and now San Roque Town Hall has decided to demand that the Spanish state reclaim the items on the Rock.
Councillor Manuel Malero said that Odyssey deposited 59 items in Gibraltar, and this is mentioned in US judge Mark Pizzo’s case summary. ‘They are 59 objects of little value, from metal screws, and a large number of unidentified items including gold jewel, a crystal glass and other ceramic items and relics from the frigate’. All this has allegedly been stored in Gibraltar.
However the authorities in Gibraltar said on Thursday that ‘The Gibraltar Government is not keeping any piece of this treasure, nor did we know that it existed’.
The prosecutor for the Algeciras area, Juan Cisneros, said ‘It’s not necessary for San Roque Town Hall to make a claim for the items allegedly in Gibraltar, as they should have been added to the returned treasure once it is confirmed to have come from the Spanish frigate’.
Meanwhile the Peruvian Ambassador to Washington, Harold Forsyth, has said that his country ‘will not drop its guard’ and will once again reclaim the treasure from the Nuesta Señora de la Mercedes, although he admitted that the situation ‘does not bode well for Peruvian interests’. Peru claims the gold and silver coins which make up most of the treasure were minted in Peru, and so their origin is clearly Peruvian.
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