Jump to content

Bolivian Indigenous groups assert claim to treasure of ‘holy grail of shipwrecks’


Recommended Posts

  • Benefactor

What a mess.

My vote goes for Colombia owning the wreck. The standard these days is where the artifacts were found and these are in Colombian waters. 

I don't believe Spain has much of a claim because

  • If so, then every Athens tet found in Turkey should belong to Greece. Similarly, any Kyzikos stater found in the Aegean should be returned to Turkey.
  • Colombia as a nation didn't exist at the time, and the whole of the country was owned by Spain. Therefore, if the argument is true that the shipwreck should belong to Spain because it flew at the time under the Spanish flag, then most of South America and Mexico should also be returned to Spain.

The argument from the indigenous people is admirable, but I don't see this money grab working. If this were true, then not just this treasure but every Spanish coin minted from the Potosi mines should also be returned to them. The best situation they can hope for is the lawsuit publicizes how much the native Bolivians suffered at those mines.

  • Like 4
  • Cool Think 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor
Posted (edited)

I tend to agree.  At best an agreement with the indigenous groups might be reached whereby they receive a percentage of the revenue from any sale that the Colombian government raises from the sale of any of the coins that they own from the San Jose.  It is a solution, probably half-baked, but better than nothing.

Here's more information on life in Potosi during the silver boom, which lasted centuries, albeit drastically diminishing by the by the end of the 18th century.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/mar/21/story-of-cities-6-potosi-bolivia-peru-inca-first-city-capitalism#:~:text=to western Europe.-,At its peak in the early 17th century%2C 160%2C000 native,or Seville at the time.


Edited by robinjojo
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor
Posted (edited)

I agree with @kirispupis and @robinjojo. Although I'm not quite clear on what it is that the indigenous group wants to happen. Leave the wreck where it is? Sell it for the benefit of the indigenous community? Or do they simply want a say in how the objects are exhibited? 

Here's a print I own from 1683, by Alain Manesson Mallet, of the "Montagne de Potosi," from his book "Description de l'Univers." Part of my collection of antique maps and prints dating back to the 16th century.


Edited by DonnaML
  • Like 5
  • Yes 1
  • Smile 1
  • Cool Think 2
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...