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Heard a little news blurb on the radio this AM about Spain getting a treasure back from those who salvaged it. The Guardian has the story Treasure from sunken galleon must be returned to Spain, judge says.

A jubilant Spanish government announced on Wednesday that the $500m-worth (£308m) of gold and silver coins found at a site that Odyssey called "Black Swan" would be back on Spanish soil within 10 days.

"This sentence gives Spaniards back what was already theirs," said the culture minister, José Ignacio Wert. "There is a space of 10 days in which the coins must be returned."


Pizzo argued that the coins, all dated prior to 1804, matched the Mercedes' cargo of coins minted in Lima, Peru – part of a haul being brought back to finance Spain's European wars. He also said cannon found there matched those on the Mercedes.

Rightful ownership of the coins, which fill 600 barrels, now belongs to Spain and to descendants of the 250 Spanish sailors who were lost when the vessel blew up.

And where did the gold come from? Plundered from the Peruvians no doubt. A question after the Fleur-de-Kos.

Shouldn't the gold really belong to the Peruvians? If all the treasure the Nazis plundered from Europe and then scattered to the four winds after the war is supposed to be returned to its rightful owners, why does Spain get to keep this stolen booty?

That's the only analogy I can come up with off the top of my head, I'm sure there's more.

Just my 2 cents on current events.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    "White-collar conservatives flashing down the street. Pointing their plastic finger at me."

    by BOHICA on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 08:34:32 AM PST

  •  Why shouldnt the salvagers get to keep it? (7+ / 0-)

    Euro govts do zippo to locate and recover these archeological treasures, then claim to 'own' them in the rare instances when a salvager's efforts turn up something of value to anyone other than a museum. At least the Brits typically share the booty. The Spaniards just want to claim the entire haul with no compensation for the salvagers. As if Spain is still filled with Conquistadors. Its like finding a wallet with $10,000 in it on the sidewalk, then being charged a year later with theft by the owner, and  booted out the door of his palazzo without even a finders fee for smelling up the entryway.

    •  I could see compensating the salvagers, somewhat (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, glorificus, cai

      ...for finding and recovering it, but ultimately, that gold belongs to the native peoples of Peru and the region.

      Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle.

      by Radical def on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:01:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Law of the sea (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, Lepanto

      Pretty clear that navy vessels from a country and cargo and remains belong to that country for ever if it still exists.

      The salvaging company new that, they decided to lie, then they got caught and several courts in the US, not in Spain, have told them to give back the cargo.

      •  The Spain that existed then is not the Spain (0+ / 0-)

        that exists now.  It has gone from a monarchy to a dictatorship under Franco (that little Spanish Civil War) and then a constitutional monarchy.  

        SO - no - the cargo does not belong to Spain eternally . . . not to mention the fact they stole the gold at gunpoint from Peru.

        I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by bobdevo on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:40:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG, Lepanto

          Supreme Court and international treaties plus 3 courts in the US and the US Government disagree with you.

          There is a reason why ALL governments in the world support this legislation. It was a navy vessel a Spanish frigate. That belong to Spain or the US or the UK or whomever as long as the same national entity has its sovereignty recognized by other governments.

          The cargo from us navy ships sunk in any war should belong to the Sioux or the Navajos or the Seminoles?

      •  The same issue is clouding up that cruise (2+ / 0-)

        ship that sank just recently.

        The passengers' belongings are still on board, but the ship is legally salvageable as soon as they know that there are no more bodies on board.

        The legal issue is - do the jewels and valuables belong to the survivors or the salvagers? It isn't as clear-cut as it seems. To any reasonable outsider, survivors should be able to claim their stuff. But sea laws say differently. The laws were written when there were not typically any survivors of a sinking, so whoever got there first and raised the booty got to keep it.

        It will be interesting to watch.

        My new favorite RIGHT WING website: It's what the RIGHT thinks of Newt! Enjoy!

        by pucklady on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 10:00:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I totally agree...they looted that gold (6+ / 0-)

    Viciously, brutally, with slave labor and genocide.

    Peru should claim it, for native peoples of the region.

    Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle.

    by Radical def on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 08:56:59 AM PST

  •  Nobody in Spain ever asks that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, glorificus, basquebob, IreGyre

    It's a lovely country but it's got kind of a weird morality at times.  It's the country that wanted to try Rumsfeld and Pinochet, but it blackballed Judge Garzon when he tried to investigate Franco-era crimes that were even more heinous.  And it wants all of the gold from sunken galleons without taking any historical responsibility for the disaster that was Spanish colonization.  

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:08:05 AM PST

  •  A Village of Millionaires (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Speaking of Spain and riches, but on a good note as this really is theirs:

    Lottery Win Leaves Spanish Region Grappling with Its Future

    Residents of Spain's Huesca Province recently won 700 million euros ($910 million) in the country's Christmas lottery. The money could bring a brighter future to the rural village of Sodeto, which has been shrinking for years. The region's fate will depend on what its newfound millionaires do with their money.


    But Sodeto is unique, because all of its families were winners. As a result, a small village of farmers became synonymous with good luck at a time of economic crisis in Spain. And even as the Fitch rating agency in London lowered the country's credit rating by two points to A, the champagne was still flowing in Sodeto.  read more

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:20:17 AM PST

  •  Peru was then (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karl Rover, MGross, FG

    still part of Spain and the coins were minted in Peru but the silver more than likely came from the mines in Potosi (Bolivia). Should the cargo go to Bolovian indigenous peoples? or to all Bolivians? or those who can trace their families to 1800?

    Should all the ships in ocean and their cargo go back if rescued to the places where the prime materials where extracted? Or the belonging and remains of US sailors from WWII vessels sunk in the Pacific or the Atlantic be open to for profit rescue operations? or those from the 1812 war? If there is something of value on them should it be distributed among the present day councils at the reservations?

  •  Reparations for genocide of the natives? Cool. (0+ / 0-)
  •  France owes Haiti billions. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After Haiti declared independence, they were forced to pay "reparations" for the losses France suffered in losing their slave colony.  They were paying those into the 20th century.

    I shit you not.

  •  good point, perspective.... (0+ / 0-)

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 11:43:46 AM PST

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