The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday the petition of Odyssey and other applicants to revise the ruling that forced the U.S. company to deliver to Spain last February a treasure comprising of 595,000 silver coins and gold.
"This makes the decision to return the treasure to Spain absolutely final," said lawyer James Goold, who defends the interests of Spain in this case, after being made aware of Monday's decision by the U.S. court.
With the rejection of the Supreme court, the company for offshore exploration has exhausted in the US, the ways in which they can try to recover the treasure salvaged from the frigate "Our Lady of Mercy."
"Although we are disappointed, it is not surprising because the Supreme Court accepts very few revisions," said the vice president of Odyssey, Melinda MacConnel, who did clarify whether they will seek some other way out of the U.S. Justice system to try to recover a treasure that has been denied all bodies consulted so far, or finally give up.
Odyssey learns a Lesson
MacConnnel merely noted that "Odyssey has an exciting year ahead, with two wreck recovery projects for which they already have agreements with the involved governments and an archaeological dig in partnership with a foundation."
Peru also appealed to the Supreme, for the shipment "was originally Peruvian"
"We are excited about the opportunities Odyssey has before it, including more agreements with countries that see the advantage of working with our expertise to capitalize on tax and preserve their cultural heritage at the same time," he added referring to the lack of agreement in their day with Spain, which led to this long dispute.
"This decision completes the victory of Spain at all levels of the U.S. Justice system and makes clear that striping Spanish ships and military buried treasures to sell their antiques for collectors is unacceptable," said Goold, who does not know if there is any way more which Odyssey can use to keep fighting for the treasure.
The treasure is in Spain since 25 February, when it arrived from Florida (USA) aboard two Hercules aircraft that landed at the military base of Torrejón de Ardoz Madrid amid great expectations. The cargo consisted largely of 595,000 royal coins and shields made in Peru in the late eighteenth century, among other materials that were taken from the sea by Odyssey in 2007.
In 2009, the Florida judge Steven Merryday ruled in favor of Spain and determined that the treasure belonged to Spain, although it had been Odyssey which he had rescued from the sea floor.
The heirs also claimed
In addition to Odyssey, the delivery of material was also opposed by 26 individuals who said they were heirs of the original owners of the cargo, but its causes have also been being rejected by various courts in the U.S..
The Government of Peru had also submitted an appeal to the U.S. Supreme considering that the ships load was of Peruvian origin. The high court also rejected this claim.
Although Spain has recovered the bulk of the treasure, there still remains a small party left by Odyssey in Gibraltar before moving to Tampa and most has been valued at about 140,000 euros ($ 186,500).