The Government of Colombia has published the specifications for the rescue of the San José galleon, in which there will be “disbursement of public resources” and the contract will have a value of 70.9 million dollars (57.2 million euros) approximately.
The option chosen by the Colombian State to carry out this rescue has been the figure of the Public Private Partnership (APP), which “seeks intervention, preservation, disclosure and economic use” of the goods that are in the authorized polygon In the Caribbean sea.
In addition, it includes the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the associated public infrastructure, which is composed of a laboratory for the conservation of materials and a museum that allows the dissemination and appropriation of the cultural heritage of the Nation.
In July of the previous year the public hearing was held in order to present the characteristics of the project to interested third parties so that they could make observations and prepare in advance. The Government has recalled that anyone who meets the conditions of the sheet can participate.
In any case, he has announced that there is already a postulant, Maritime Archeology Consultants Switzerland AG, who presented a public-private partnership project and forms part of the ‘Prequalified List’.
It is estimated that gold, silver, precious stones, archaeological remains and other objects on the seabed cost about 10,000 million dollars (8,068 million euros), according to Europa Press from various Colombian media. The deadline to submit proposals is next April 24.
The galleon, a ship of the Spanish empire sunk in 1708 by cannons by English pirates, was located in November 2015, which already sparked a dispute with the treasure hunt company Sea Search Armada, which claimed the discovery.
Spain defends the ownership of the vessel, arguing that it is a warship with a State flag and with sovereign immunity under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Sea, of which Colombia is not a party. Another of the arguments of Spain is based on the fact that it is a marine tomb of 570 nationals.
The Colombian government claims that the vessel belongs to it because it is on its seabed, although it would be willing to share the recovered archaeological heritage. Santos already announced that the rescued archaeological and cultural heritage will be deposited in a museum in Cartagena.