Friday, June 5, 2009

Spain 1, Treasure Salvors 0, Peru 0

A federal magistrate judge has concluded that Spain is the rightful owner of treasure removed from a shipwreck because the available evidence suggests that the lost vessel was a 19 th c. Spanish warship.

What archaeological blogs I have read on the subject seem to relish the decision as a victory against private treasure salvors, but, in so doing, they gloss over the rather narrow statutory basis for the ruling as well as the Court's outright rejection of Peru's claim to the treasure based upon "cultural nationalist principles," i.e., that the treasure belongs to Peru because the "property physically, culturally and historically originat[ed] in Peru." See Slip op. at 29.

Derek Fincham has kindly placed a link to the Court's decision on his own blog. See:

As he notes, there will surely be an appeal.

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