Salvagers to keep share of Â£2.5bn treasure
Monday 07 October 2002
The Government has signed an agreement with a US salvage firm giving up the right to gold coins worth millions of pounds from the wreck of a 17th-century British warship lost off Gibraltar.
The deal opens the way to the recovery of coins and artefacts worth up to £2.5bn that are believed to have gone down with the HMS Sussex and almost all of its 500 crew in 1694 during a violent storm.
The ship was believed to be carrying up to 10 tons of gold destined for the Duke of Savoy to buy his assistance in the Nine Years War with France.
Its whereabouts remained a mystery until the Tampa-based company Odyssey Marine Exploration recovered objects from the wreck 2,500 feet down in 2001 that led experts to believe that the ship was the 80-gun HMS Sussex. The company, which has already put more than £2m into the operation, said it would be the deepest archaeological excavation of a colonial-era shipwreck ever undertaken.
Under the public private partnership deal struck in September, Odyssey Marine Exploration will get 80 per cent of the coin proceeds up to $45m (£29m), 50 per cent from $45m to $500m and 40 per cent for anything above that. Artefacts of cultural significance will go to the Government, according to the Ministry of Defence.
The deal is likely to lead to controversy with European archaeologists firmly set against making profits from such an operation.
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
South Korea ferry disaster: Released transcripts show chaos and confusion in the moments before ferry sinks
Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
South Korea ferry disaster: Families watch as remains of Sewol victims returned to shore
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
- 1 Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2: Graceless reaction of Jose Mourinho a sad effort to hide his own flaws
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...
£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...