Bolivia to Request Return of Treasure Found Aboard Shipwreck
All of the 600,000 gold and silver coins found by the treasure-hunting company Odyssey aboard the shipwreck Spanish frigate Nuestra Señora de Mercedes (sunk by a British ship in 1804) were minted in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Odyssey recently lost a court battle and was ordered to return the find to Spain; however, Bolivia will now request Spain return the portion of coins extracted from Bolivian mines (minted in Potosí) to their rightful origin. Spain shipped hundreds of shiploads of gold and silver from Bolivia to Spain over the course of four centuries. The value of those tens of thousands of tons of silver and gold is immeasurable. The Spanish crown became fabulously wealthy while Bolivia did not benefit at all and, today, remains the second poorest nation in South America. What is your opinion of Bolivia's request?