Underwater robot to help recover 'holy grail' shipwreck's legendary treasure of 'incalculable value'

Underwater robot to help recover 'holy grail' shipwreck's legendary treasure of 'incalculable value'

WATCH: Frank Luntz says America has "lost respect for the truth"

GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 23/02/2024

- 21:09

The Colombian government has deliberately kept the location of the San Jose galleon a shipwreck a secret

The Colombian government has announced plans to remove items from a legendary shipwreck.

The San Jose galleon, which sank in 1708 laden with gold, silver and emeralds estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

The ship, which has been described as the 'holy grail' of shipwrecks has been controversial, because it is both an archaeological and economic treasure.

Claims to its fortune have been made by Colombia, Spain and by Bolivia's indigenous Qhara Qhara nation, which claims the Spanish extracted the wealth from its people.

\u200b The Colombian Navy ship ARC Caribe is one of the ships in the search

The Colombian Navy ship ARC Caribe is one of the ships in the search


Colombia President Gustavo Petro wants the recovery of the shipwreck to be one of the "priorities" of his administration before his term ends in 2026. Culture minister Juan David Correa told Bloomberg: "The president has told us to pick up the pace."

The promise to raise the shipwreck comes amid an ongoing dispute over who owns the treasure, which is said to be worth between £3.2bn and £16bn.

The exact location of the expedition is being kept secret to protect what is considered one of the greatest archaeological finds in history from malicious treasure hunters.

Only a handful of its 600-strong crew survived when the galleon was sunk by the British navy near Cartagena in 1708.


\u200bColombian President Gustavo Petro

Colombian President Gustavo Petro


According to the Colombian government, the three-mast 64-gun vessel, which had 600 crew members, will be raised to the surface through a public-private partnership

Archaeologist at Stanford University Justin Leidwanger said: "It makes it very touchy because one is not supposed to intervene in war graves."

Since Thursday, Spain's ambassador to Colombia Joaquin de Aristegui, and representatives of Bolivia's Indigenous people have been taking part in a symposium with experts to discuss the best way to access the treasure, reports CBS News.

The government of leftist president Gustavo Petro, in power since 2022, wants to use the country's own resources to recover the wreck and ensure it remains in Colombia.

Crockery on the ground

A vessel that belongs to the treasure of the Spanish galleon San Jose, sunk in 1708, is seen at the bottom of the sea off Cartagena, Colombia


In June 2022, Colombia said that a remotely operated vehicle reached 900 meters below the surface of the ocean, showing new images of the wreckage.

The video showed the best-yet view of the treasure that was aboard the San Jose — including gold ingots and coins, cannons made in Seville in 1655 and an intact Chinese dinner service.

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