The Spanish galleon San José, regarded as the “Holy Grail of shipwrecks,” is believed to contain an incredible treasure worth as much as $20 billion.

The Colombian government has launched an ambitious mission to retrieve it.

Representation Image

The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, has ordered his administration to bring this centuries-old shipwreck out of the Caribbean Sea as soon as possible.

According to statements made to Bloomberg by Minister of Culture Juan David Correa, President Petro has suggested the creation of a public-private partnership to support his ambitious attempt to bring the 62-gun, three-masted ship to the surface before his term ends in 2026.

“The president has instructed us to pick up the pace,” Minister Correa highlighted, adding, “This is one of the administration’s top priorities for Petro.”

After decades of legal disputes, the exact value of the treasure is still unknown and up for debate.

Estimates have ranged from $4 billion to an astounding $20 billion. But the fundamental issue of ownership still baffles everyone concerned.

The disputed question of who found the treasure first is at the core of the problem. The 600-man Spanish galleon San José met a tragic end on June 8, 1708, when it sank to a depth of 2,000 feet during a pitched battle with the British in the War of the Spanish Succession.

Built by Duke Arístides Eslava in 1698, the ship was the flagship of Spain’s treasure fleet, regularly transporting gems and precious metals between Peru and Spain.

The consensus is that the galleon, along with two other galleons and fourteen merchant ships, sailed for Cartagena from Panama.

Although the precise location of the ship’s last resting place is still unknown, Sea Search Armada is convinced that the Colombian government found part of the same debris field in 2015 that they had first located 34 years earlier.

As a result, the business has filed a lawsuit against the Colombian government, claiming that under the terms of the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, it is entitled to a 50% share of the treasure, or $10 billion based on their calculations, Bloomberg reported.

References- New York Post, Fox News

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