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MADRID – Spanish cultural officials have allowed the first peep at 16 tons of shipwreck treasure worth an estimated $500 million that a U.S. salvage company gave up after a five-year international ownership dispute.
A tiny portion of the loot from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, a galleon that sank off Portugal's Atlantic coast near the straits of Gibraltar in 1804, was shown to the media: 12 individual silver coins, a block of encrusted silver coins, two gold tobacco boxes and a bronze pulley.
Officials on Friday said some of the treasure will be put on display in museums next year. Spain got it from Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration in February after U.S. courts rejected arguments that the company was entitled to all or most of the treasure.