Friday 20 February 2009

Mexico says US treasure firm can't explore shipwreck

Mexico has denied the request of controversial U.S. wreck hunting and salvage company Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. of Tampa, Florida, to explore and recover artifacts from a sunken 17th-century Spanish galleon in the Gulf of Mexico, the government said Monday. The galleon Our Lady of Juncal, was part of a fleet hit by a powerful storm in 1631 and sank with the loss of many hands.
A statement by Odyssey’s chairman Greg Stemm claims that "the proposal presented to Mexico for archaeological services [sic] is in compliance with the UNESCO Convention and would keep all cultural artifacts together in a collection." The proposal was turned down by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, because it "is not intended to conduct research and does not have the approval of archaeologists or an academic institution of recognized prestige". Odyssey does however seem to have won the British government over on the Sussex and looks likely to over the 1744 Victory wreck too. They do not seem worried by such issues. But good for the Mexicans.

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