Treasure hunting: recovery of 1804 "Spanish" shipwreck
Has nothing whatsoever to do with firearms/defense. From the news ...
Spain Shipwreck Treasure Shown for First Time
The haul: 16 tons, including 574,553 silver coins, 212 gold coins, valued at ~US$500M.
The ship: apparently, a galleon named "Mercedes," bringing treasure from S.America to Spain.
The interesting, unsurprising facts/claims:
The metals were mined and the coins minted in the Andes, from places that are now in Bolivia, Chile and Peru.
Spain overcame a last-minute effort by the Peruvian government to block the transfer of the treasure back to Spain. Peru did not gain its independence until 1824, but the country's lawyers argued it was more than a simple colony at the time because it was the local seat of the Spanish crown when the ship sank.
International treaties generally hold that warships sunk in battle are protected from treasure seekers.
Odyssey lost every round in federal courts as the Spanish government painted the company as modern-day pirates.
What are your thoughts on such "treasure" galleons from the 17th & 18th C. era of the conquistadors? Is possession 90% of the issue? Survival of the fittest (legally speaking)? Is the original source of the bullion an issue? Anyone surprised Spain has possession? Anyone think the salvagers have any legitimate claims?