«The sunken ship ‘Holy Grail,’ valued at $17 billion, may be salvaged from the seabed.»

«The ‘Holy Grail,’ valued at billions of dollars, may be salvaged from the depths of the Colombian seas as early as April, which experts say could spark a real gold rush in archaeological circles.

«There’s a strong belief about the galleon being a treasure,» Lena Caisedo, director of the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History, told The Guardian.

For the uninitiated, the ‘San Jose’ galleon was the pride of the Spanish fleet, sinking off the coast of Baru Island in Cartagena in 1708 during the War of Spanish Succession. It was known for its record-breaking reserves of emeralds, gold, and silver, with an estimated total value of $17 billion.

It’s no surprise that ownership of the 131-foot ship is actively disputed by Spain, Colombia, indigenous Bolivian tribes, and even the USA, all vying for this ‘holy grail’ of the open sea.

Authorities claim to put aside politics and plan to salvage the San Jose’s artifacts starting in April. «We’re not thinking about treasures,» said Caisedo. «We’re thinking about how to access historical and archaeological information.»

Caisedo and others hope to raise the galleon to the surface and exhibit it in a museum for all to see. «It’s a huge task, and there aren’t many precedents for this project,» said Caisedo, who considers her team ‘pioneers’ in this endeavor.

The biggest challenge will be bringing the 316-year-old sunken ship and its precious cargo to the surface without damaging it.»

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