Explorers tussle with Spain over treasure in court

24 May 2011 9:32 PM | Anonymous

Explorers tussle with Spain over treasure in court

 By GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press Greg Bluestein, Associated Press – Tue May 24, 4:14 pm ET

ATLANTA – Florida deep-sea explorers asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to overturn an earlier ruling that 17 tons of treasure recovered from a sunken Spanish galleon belongs to Spain, deepening a long-running battle over a trove worth an estimated $500 million that has unfolded not on the high seas but in federal courtrooms.

Attorneys for Odyssey Marine Exploration asked the three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the "finders keepers" rule that would give the treasure hunters the rights to silver coins, copper ingots, gold cufflinks and other artifacts salvaged about four years ago from the galleon off the coast of Portugal. Spain's lawyers countered that U.S. courts are obligated by international treaty and maritime law to uphold Spain's claim to the haul.


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