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?

Comments for Bolivia to Request Return of Treasure Found Aboard Shipwreck

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Apr 01, 2014
Spanish Exploitation of South America
by: Jonathan Norton

The violence used by the greedy conquistadors in South America is well documented by both sides. If I went to Spain today and stole gold at gunpoint and killed anyone who opposed me Spanish authorities would rightly lock me up as a murdering criminal. Every society around the world would say my actions were illegal. However Spain says to South America what we stole from you is legally ours.
The gold should go back to these poorer countries from which it was stolen from. With the proviso of it going to develop a better healthier quality of life for these poorer people.
Spain should also be made to pay compensation for murdering and plundering of these indigenous people. The Spanish clergy who blessed these voyages should also at least apologise for their silence while these greedy maritime criminals were plundering innocent people.

Aug 29, 2012
statute of limitations
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry but after 200 years nobody but the finder should have any legal claim to it. The company that discovered it should have all legal rights to it. Spain and Bolivia both should have no legal rights to it.

May 26, 2012
Finders keepers
by: Anonymous

I think that if anyone puts in the time and money to find the lost treasures it should belng to them. not any goverment!!!!!!!!!!! If it wasn't for them,it would still be on the bottom of the seas, or burried, or where ever. Just like finding treasures on your own property. No one should have any rights to it. and that also includs oil, gas, water, ect. If you find it it should be yours and only yours.

Mar 01, 2012
I agree!
by: Anonymous

Why should Spain keep money that wasn't theirs to begin with?

Mar 01, 2012
Bolivia deserves every coin
by: Anonymous

I agree. I believe what left Bolivia, must return to Bolivia. Bolivia is the rightful owner of those coins. Forget a portion, they should return all of it. It wasn't theirs to take.

Mar 01, 2012
English teacher
by: Marjorie Mindel

I think it's fair and just that Bolivia receive its share of the recovered treasure, but that somehow it be assured that the money would go towards schools, hospitals, orphanages, and help for the homeless and/or handicapped. To give it to the government without provisions for its use, would let it enter private pockets or be used for purposes that won't help the poor people, indigenous or not.
This is my opinion.

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