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Colombia wants to salvage the San Jose’s $1 billion cargo

The Colombian government announced its plans at a press conference on Thursday. According to their schedule, the first attempts to salvage parts of the cargo could take place in May and April, depending on conditions in the Caribbean Sea.

Minister of Culture Juan David Correa He claims that the experiments should be viewed as a scientific expedition and not a way to benefit Colombia economically.

– This is archaeological debris, not treasure. “This is an opportunity for us to become a leading country in the field of underwater archaeological research,” he said at the press conference, the Associated Press wrote.

The San José, or Holy Wreck Grail as it was also called, was part of the Spanish fleet and was sunk by the British during a naval battle in 1708. At the time, the galleon was carrying about eleven million in gold and silver. Coins, gems and other valuables from the Spanish colonies.

The ship was found in Caribbean Sea in 2015, followed by years of legal and diplomatic wrangling over how to manage the wreck. Colombia canceled its latest salvage plans in 2018 after a dispute with a US diving company, which in the 1980s signed an agreement with Colombia over the wreck.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) urged Colombia not to exploit the wreck for commercial purposes.

“The commercial exploitation of Colombian cultural heritage contravenes scientific standards and international ethical principles,” UNESCO researchers wrote in a letter to the Colombian government.

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