16th-Century Shipwreck Off Florida Coast Is Worth Millions. But It Belongs to France, not US.

Live Science | 7/12/2018 | Staff
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A 16th-century shipwreck that may be all that's left of one of the first European voyages to America holds treasures worth millions of dollars. But now a judge has ruled that the company that discovered the wreck off the coast of Florida has no right to salvage the valuable artifacts.

That's because the artifacts may be from a small fleet of French ships, led by the explorer Jean Ribault, which sailed to establish a colony in Florida in 1562 and 1565. In a decision on the legal dispute released last week, U.S. judge Karla Spaulding gave ownership of the wreck and its valuable artifacts to the nation of France.

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Evidence - Court - GME - Raiders - Cannons

In its evidence to the court, GME contended that Spanish raiders had looted the cannons and monument from the early French colony at Fort Caroline in Florida in 1565 — and so, they were on board a Spanish ship, probably bound for Cuba, when the ship went down off the Florida coast.

But the court ruled that they were probably being carried on Ribault's flagship, La Trinité, which sank during a storm off Florida in 1565 — and that any artifacts from the wreck still belong to France.

GME - Permits - State - Florida - Areas

GME was operating under permits from the state of Florida to explore seven areas of the seafloor near Cape Canaveral when the company located the cannons and monument in May and June of 2016 wreck artifacts.

In addition to the three bronze cannons and the monument bearing the coat of arms of the king of France,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Live Science
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Millions in tribute, but not a penny left for charity.
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