The Colombian Government not pay the ransom of the Spanish galen San Jos, sunk in front of Cartagena de Indias in the 18th century by English privateers, with the heritage found in the wreck, as the previous Executive had foreseen, Vice President Marta Luca Ramrez informed this Wednesday.
"For the current Government, this payment formula is unacceptable! What is in the galen San Jos can have great economic value, but first of all, each and every one of the pieces that are rescued are of huge and incomparable cultural and historical value for Colombia and for the world, "Ramrez said in a statement.
The vice president recalled that in order to rescue the San Jos, the previous Government, of Juan Manuel Santos, launched a process of contracting a public-private alliance that it will be paid mainly with salvaged pieces of the same galen, provided that they were not declared as patrimony on the basis of a controversial law passed shortly before its finding was made public.
However, the Colombian president, Ivn Duque, has repeatedly extended the term to hire the company that must extract the San Jos in fear of the loss of national heritage, especially for "the possibility that the payment to the contractor is made by delivering pieces extracted from the galen."
"Its historical and cultural wealth is priceless and the right of Colombians to know, spread and preserve this cultural treasure it is not negotiated and we cannot trade it for the world's antique dealers, "Ramrez added.
The Colombian Congress passed a law, 1675 of July 30, 2013, which aims to "protect, make visible and recover the Heritage Submerged Cultural. "
According to this law, they are part of that heritage all the remains that are in Colombian waters, including "the nufragas species constituted by naval ships or artifacts and their endowment, their remains or parts, endowments or elements lying within them, whatever their nature or state, and whatever the cause of immersion, sinking or shipwreck" .
However, "they will not be considered submerged cultural heritage" "commercial charges constituted by materials in their gross state, Whatever its origin, such as pearls, corals, precious and semiprecious stones, sand and wood, "as well as" serial movable property that would have had exchange or fiscal value such as coins and bullion. "
It also includes the possibility of making a private public alliance so that a treasure hunter company recovers the wreck and obtains compensation of "up to 50% of the value of the goods (in this case, in the galen) that do not constitute the nation’s cultural heritage. "
Given this situation, the vice president said that "in the depths of the sea there is not only a lot of canons, vessels and jewels and a coin point. There is a part of our history and the trajectory of the New World and it must never be expressed. "
"Galen San Jos is unique and indivisible! In it lies an important and valuable part of our history and our cultural trajectory, "he stressed.
Ramrez also stressed that the rescue of San Jos "should only benefit the history of mankind" and should be "a contribution to knowledge and culture".
That's why he said that the decision "is not just a conviction, it's a matter of public interest and a Constitutional obligation "that they must fulfill.
"The Constitution of Colombia gives our cultural heritage a 'reinforced constitutional protection' which implies that we must give special care, different and superior to our archaeological heritage and cultural heritage," for which "should be preferred above all preserve all the goods that are rescued instead of delivering them for them to be sold in expensive auctions all over the world. "
He also considered "regrettable" that the Government of Santos "had agreed to pay with rescue pieces."
"In the study we have found that the originator of the APP insisted to the Government of Santos that look for a different formula to payment in kind, but it was the previous government that insisted on paying with pieces of the San Jos. We don't understand how they preferred to deliver our story instead of protecting it, "Ramrez added.
The vice president explained that "in the next few days" she will be presented to the National Cultural Heritage Council the final report of the exploration made "with the request that he recognize the San Jos and all the elements of the shipwreck as a unique and indivisible collection".
The goal is to declare it as a cultural heritage in its entirety and thus "not a single splinter, not a single vessel, not a single coin, not a single stone, nothing that is in the wreck area could be commercialized. "
"In the face of the contractual process and in strict application of the contractual legal parameters, we will continue with it, but under the premise that we will do the impossible so that not even a piece from which they are extracted can be marketed. The process of extraction and conservation of The pieces requires high technology and no other company appeared in the process, "he concluded.
About the conversations with Spain, which claims that San Jos is a state vessel, Ramrez said that with that government they have "a very friendly and very respectful relationship." "For us it is essential that we agree with Spain in the will that we have both governments to keep intact (equity), that is not delivered in kind to anyone and is not marketed, "he added.
Tons of gold and precious stones
Galen San Jos was shot down by an English cannon during the battle of Bar, in 1708, According to the chronicles of the time, they realized their valuable cargo: tons of gold and precious stones.
Wanted during decades by treasure hunters, the Colombian government announced its finding in 2015, although the US firm Sea Search Armada claims to have identified the coordinates of the wreck in 1982.
A local court in March 50% of the wealth that are in the wreck in favor of the company. "It has been certified that this finding is in different and distant coordinates from those reported by Sea Search Armada," Ramrez said this Wednesday.
The lawyer of the American firm has said that they expect to receive a "reasonable compensation" in exchange for giving up the rights that were recognized by justice.
Spain claims the cargo as part of your heritage because the ship was from the Spanish Navy.
According to the criteria of
. (tagsToTranslate) culture (t) history (t) Colombia