Sunday, December 18, 2011

State Department, Spain, Navy (and Archaeologists?) Torpeodo Effort to Change Law to Allow Commercial Salvage of More Warships

The State Department, joined by the US Navy, Spain and presumably archaeologists, have torpedoed an effort to to change the law to allow more commerical exploitation of old warships. See

The State Department and US Navy claimed their opposition was meant to protect against commercial exploitation of US warships, but the reality is that the change in the law would likely have only impacted exploitation of Spanish warships that were also used to transport treasure from the New World.

More evidence that the State Department will always take the side of foreign governments over US commercial interests, particularly where those interests are also opposed by the US archaeological lobby. (This gives the bureaucrats at least some cover in that they can say there are US academic interests on their side.)

One wonders whether the next move of Spain and their archaeological allies will be to claim that Spanish treasure already in the hands of US collectors and museums should be repatriated to Spain (or should that be Mexico, Bolivia or Peru)?

No comments: