The government said the identification of well-preserved bronze cannons stamped with dolphins helped to definitively identify the wreckage. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos called the discovery “one of the biggest findings and identifications of underwater heritage in the history of humanity.” The shipwreck may be the richest in the world. Its value exceeded Spain’s annual income. It is also the subject of a decades-long legal battle.
“San Jose” in historic stamp
For more than three centuries, the riches resting on the floor of the Caribbean Sea have tantalized treasure hunters. The San Jose was part of the fleet of King Philip V, who fought the English during the War of Spanish Succession. A British warship attacked the San Jose, causing it to sink. Hundreds of people is believed dead After discovery, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos got a proposal from an investor to bring the San Jose to the surface. The Colombian president said that a museum will be built in Cartagena to house relics recovered from the wreck, but that process will likely take years. Many aspects, including the legal ownership of the wreckage remain unclear at this time.