Colombian authorities say they’ve found the wreck of the San Jose, a 300-year-old Spanish galleon that’s loaded with treasure.
When a British warship sunk the San Jose off the Cartagena coast in 1708 it was headed to Spain to help finance the war of succession against Britain.
When the ship went down it was holding up to 11 million gold and silver coins along with precious stones. 600 people were aboard the vessel.
No treasure has been brought up from the wreck, but it’s estimated the value could reach up to AU$1.5 billion.
Sonar images taken by a deep-sea camera show bronze cannons, ceramics and other artifacts.
[Image: Colombian Cultural Ministry]
It could be the biggest treasure haul from a shipwreck in history, according to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
However, U.S. salvage company Sea Search Armada is disputing the government’s ownership claim, so a legal battle could be on the cards.
“The galleon is the heritage of Colombians for Colombians,” says President Santos. “Now many owners are appearing. No sirs, this is Colombian heritage.”
The ship was found near the Rosario Islands in what is now Colombia but officials have yet to reveal the exact location.