A shipwreck which is believed to contain 200 tons of gold, silver and emeralds is going to be taken out as Colombia has declared a national mission to recover the treasure. The treasure ship will be exhumed before Colombia's current President Gustavo Petro ends his term of office in 2026.
According to a report by Dailymail.Com, the Spanish ship sank off the Colombian port of Cartagena in 1708. The sinking happened during a battle with the British during which the powder magazines on the ship had been detonated.
Reportedly, the treasure in the ship is worth $20 billion in today's money. It has been dubbed as the 'Holy Grail of shipwrecks'.
A team of navy divers under the Colombian government had discovered the ship in 2015, lying in about 3100 feet of water. In 2022, a team clicked images of the treasure in the ship.
Talking about the national mission, Colombia's Culture minister Juan David Correa said that the recovery of the treasure will be done soon.
"This is one of the priorities for the Petro administration. The president has told us to pick up the pace," Correa told Bloomberg.
As per the report, the ship was sailing from Portobelo in Panama in a fleet of 14 merchant vessels and three Spanish warships when it came across the British squadron near Barú. At that time, the War of Spanish Succession was on between Spain and Britain and a fight ensued leading to the sinking of the Spanish ship.
However, there is a dispute as Spain, Colombia and Bolivia's indigenous Qhara Qhara nation have laid claims to the ship's treasure. Qhara Qhara nation claims that the Spanish had forced their ancestors to mine the precious metals which are part of the treasure.
US company Glocca Morra has also laid claim to the treasure saying that they had discovered it in 1981 and handed its co-ordinates to the Colombian government. The company has alleged that it was promised half the cargo's value.