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Monday, 7 December 2015

哥伦比亚沿海发现西班牙沉船 载满宝藏或藏65亿金银珠宝 Colombia found a sunken ship with $2 billion in treasure


Artifacts found in the wreckage of Spanish galleon San Jose are seen in this undated handout photo provided by the Colombian Ministry of Culture on December 5, 2015. The sunken ship is thought to contain billions of dollars worth of sunken treasure. (Colombian Ministry of Culture/Reuters)

Colombia found a sunken ship with $17 billion in treasure

Cartagena (Colombia) - Colombia says it has found the shipwreck of a storied Spanish galleon laden with gold, silver and precious stones, three centuries after it was sunk by the British in the Caribbean.

Colombia will build a museum to showcase artefacts found in the wreckage of a Spanish galleon discovered near the historic Caribbean port city of Cartagena, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Saturday.
He was speaking from the northern port city of Cartagena, close to where experts made the hugely valuable find."This is the most valuable treasure that has been found in the history of humanity," President Juan Manuel Santos declared on Saturday.

The San Jose, thought by historians to be laden with emeralds and precious coins, sank in 1708. It was part of the fleet of King Philip V, who fought the English during the War of Spanish Succession.
Treasure hunters had searched for the ship for decades, described by some as the holy grail of shipwrecks.

"We will build a great museum here in Cartagena," Santos said on national television from Cartagena's naval base.
The loot is estimated to be worth around $2 billion, its value having dropped significantly due to the falling price of silver, according to US-based company Sea Search Armada.

"Without a doubt, without room for any doubt, we have found, 307 years after it sank, the San Jose galleon," Santos said.
SSA, whose subsidiary claimed in the early 1980s that it had found the galleon's final resting place, was engaged in a long-running battle with the government of Colombia.

The San Jose was the subject of a legal dispute between Colombia and Sea Search Armada (SSA), a U.S.-based salvage company. SSA said in 1981 it had located the area where the ship sank.
The find was not confirmed and a US court ultimately ruled it was Colombian property.

The company and the government agreed to split any proceeds from the wreckage, but the government later said all treasure would belong to Colombia, a view that was backed by a U.S. court in 2011.
The San Jose has long been the source of fascination and popular legends, and even figures in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Love in the Time of Cholera."

Few government spokespeople will be able to speak further on the galleon until more investigations are completed, Santos said. It was unclear how much of the body of the ship remained and whether it would be brought to dry land.
Although they found plenty of other wrecks, the San Jose's location had remained a mystery until now.

- Mystery solved after centuries -

A team of international experts, the Colombian navy and the country's archaeology institute discovered the wreck last week near the island of Baru, the president said.
The San Jose was sunk in June 1708 near the Islas del Rosario, off Colombia's Caribbean coast, during combat with British ships attempting to take its cargo, as part of the War of Spanish Succession.

Sonar images have so far revealed bronze cannons made specifically for the ship, arms, ceramics and other artefacts.
The galleon was the main ship in a treasure fleet carrying gold, silver and other valuable items from Spain's American colonies to King Philip V.

Some 600 people died in the shipwreck, Santos said.
Only a handful of the ship's crew of 600 survived when the San Jose sank.
A team of Colombian and foreign researchers, including a veteran of the group that discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985, studied winds and currents of the Caribbean 307 years ago and delved into colonial archives in Spain and Colombia searching for clues.

Archaeological excavation and scientific tests on the wreck will continue to ensure it can be properly preserved, Santos said.
Experts confirmed that they found the San Jose on November 27 "in a place never before referenced by previous research," Santos said.
At least five other major shipwrecks were discovered when searching the ocean floor.
The experts confirmed that they located the San Jose, which was lying on its side, identifying it by its unique bronze cannons with engraved dolphins.
"The amount and type of the material leave no doubt of the identity" of the shipwreck, said Ernesto Montenegro, head of the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History.
There could be up to 1,000 shipwrecks off the Caribbean coast of Colombia, but of those only between six and 10 had a large cargo of treasures, anthropologist Fabian Sanabria told AFP.
The biggest find, and the most sought after, was the San Jose, he said.
The discovery "is an unprecedented event for the country," said Cartagena Mayor Dionisio Velez.
On Twitter, the issue was trending under #GaleonSanJose, as users of the one-to-many social network debated whether to return the loot to Spain, and made various estimates about its current value.

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