Spain welcomes salvage delay of disputed €1 billion San Jose shipwreck

LISBON MEETING: Mireia Molla outlines her plans to protect whales’ migratory routes Photo credit: GVA.es

MADRID has welcomed a decision from Colombian officials to delay the salvaging of a Spanish shipwreck off the coast of the Latin American country.

Colombia’s Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez and Culture Minister Ines Vasquez said they were reviewing the awarding of a contract to recover the San Jose Galleon.

Spain has said that the vessel, which was sunk by a British warship off Cartagena in Colombia in 1708, was now an underwater tomb.

That means that under international law it cannot be salvaged for commercial reasons, the Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

The news comes as Colombia and Spain have been locked in a dispute as to who has the right to salvage the San Jose.

The wreck is thought to be worth at least €1 billion. The Colombian navy discovered it in 2015.

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Joe Gerrard

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