Good Practice Detail
Frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes - Exhibition (Cadiz)

This practice demonstrates strong business case development relating to a story from the Spanish Armada. The ‘treasure hunting’ firm Odyssey Marine Exploration located & plundered part of this frigate’s cargo, illegally transporting it to Tampa (Florida) in 2007. More than 500,000 silver & gold coins, in addition to a few remains of objects belonging to the crew, this made up the rich archaeological treasure extracted from the sunken wreck that lay at a depth of 1,500 m beneath the sea. This gave rise to a lengthy lawsuit in which the US courts finally ruled in favour of the Spanish state, acknowledging its rights & ordering their immediate return to Spain. Photo: © Acción Cultural Española.
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The case sets an important international precedent in the defence of Underwater Archaeological Heritage. It is the case related to Underwater Heritage with a higher impact in the Spanish press ever.  The main purpose of this exhibition is to make these assets known and available to society as part of a heritage that belongs to it. The exhibition project aims to go beyond the economic worth of the coins extracted by conveying the cultural values of these objects.

This is an external best practice identified by our project partners in University of Cadiz. For further details on the exhibition, please contact:
Cadiz, Spanish Armada, Business Case, Treasure, Exhibition, Nautical History
Service Provider
Gobierno de España