Some say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. No one can tell what story may lie behind a paper facade. Such is the case with the opinion of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Sea Hunt Case handed down in 2000. Two shipwrecks were awarded to Spain. And neither of them were Spanish.
The Sea Hunt case has been used as a battering ram against Odyssey Marine Exploration by the Kingdom of Spain in its effort to recover a purported half billion dollar treasure from the salvage company who brought up not only magnificent treasures and artifacts for the world to see but solved a historical mystery that is centuries old.
Since 2007, when Odyssey filed its claim to 17 tons of what appears to be Spanish treasure, Spain has asserted has a defense to that claim the precedent found in the Sea Hunt case. This was the first time that Spain had entered a claim in a treasure case. Just recently, Spain has argued that since the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal in the Sea Hunt case that Odyssey will be reviewed the same way so they might as well hand over the treasure now. They would like to deny Odyssey rights that are available to them as they pursue equity in the recovery of Spanish treasures. Spain is demanding possession of the treasure before the case has run its full course.
It's author concludes,
This is a perfect example of how our government will sacrifice our own cultural heritage to win a battle against a treasure hunter.
John Amrhein, Jr.
It's well worth reading and deciding for yourself.