VIDEO | Colombia sent an expedition to an old shipwreck full of treasure

Colombia sent an expedition to an old shipwreck full of treasure / Photo YouTube

Colombia has launched the initial phase of an underwater expedition to explore a Spanish warship that sank in the Caribbean more than 300 years ago. Experts believe the wreck contains artifacts worth billions of dollars.

Colombian authorities claim that in 2015 they discovered a ship not far from the coast of Cartagena. Since then, the San Jose wreck has often been referred to as the "holy grail of shipwrecks." CNN.

The ship, the flagship and largest galleon of the Spanish fleet, is believed to have carried gold, silver, emeralds and other valuable goods from the mines of Potosi in Peru. As far as is known, it sank on June 8, 1708 during the Battle of Britain. At that time there were about 600 people on it.

According to the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History (ICANH), experts will focus on photographing the ship during the first phase of the expedition, adding that later they may try to obtain archaeological artifacts.

ICANH declared the site a nationally protected archaeological site to "preserve its scientific and archaeological value". During the expedition, he plans to use an underwater vessel with acoustic positioning devices, as well as a remote-controlled one that can descend to the depth where the wreck is located.

The San Jose discovery is significant to Colombia because of the cultural and historical artifacts that could provide greater insight into the European economic, social and political climate during the early 18th century. But it also led to a multibillion-dollar legal battle. Namely, Colombia states that it discovered San Jose in 2015 with the cooperation of international scientists.

Its claims are disputed by US company Sea Search-Armada (SSA), which claims to have been the first to find the wreck in the early 1980s. SSA launched a legal battle against the Colombian government in an arbitration court, claiming it was entitled to $10 billion; which is about half the estimated value of the wreck's treasure. The Colombian government disputes the SSA's allegations.

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