Spain welcomes salvage delay of disputed €1 billion San Jose shipwreck

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SALVAGE DELAYED: The San Jose sank in 1708. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


MADRID has welcomed a decision from Colombian officials to delay the salvaging of a Spanish shipwreck off the coast of the Latin American country.

Colombia’s Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez and Culture Minister Ines Vasquez said they were reviewing the awarding of a contract to recover the San Jose Galleon.

Spain has said that the vessel, which was sunk by a British warship off Cartagena in Colombia in 1708, was now an underwater tomb.

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That means that under international law it cannot be salvaged for commercial reasons, the Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

The news comes as Colombia and Spain have been locked in a dispute as to who has the right to salvage the San Jose.

The wreck is thought to be worth at least €1 billion. The Colombian navy discovered it in 2015.


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