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"Great news! We have found the San Jose galleon," the president tweeted.
The wreck was discovered near the port city of Cartagena.
It has been described as the holy grail of shipwrecks, as the ship was carrying one of the largest amounts of valuables ever to have been lost at sea.
Mr Santos said the cargo was worth at least $1bn (£662m).
The San Jose was carrying gold, silver, gems and jewellery collected in the South American colonies to be shipped to Spain's king to help finance his war of succession against the British when it was sunk in June 1708.
The vessel was attacked by a British warship just outside Cartagena.
Colombian officials would not reveal the precise location of the wreck, but Mr Santos said the find "constitutes one of the greatest - if not the biggest, as some say - discoveries of submerged patrimony in the history of mankind"
He said that a museum would be built in Cartagena to house the ship's treasures.
A wreck discovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration, code-named "Black Swan", has been declared to be the Mercedes. Odyssey recovered almost 500,000 silver and gold coins from the wreck, and transported them to the United States.
The CBC documentary "Secret World of Gold", which traces the history of gold items, referred to a shipwreck found off the coast of Portugal by an Odyssey Marine vessel based in Tampa, Florida. Peru attempted to claim the treasure as being originally plundered by the Spanish. However, a court case decided that the Spanish government was the rightful successor of interest because at the time of the wreck, Peru was considered a Spanish colony and not a separate legal entity, therefore it had no legal standing to be entitled to the proceeds of the lawsuit.
A U.S. federal court and a panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit have upheld the Spanish claim to the contents of the ship; Spain took control of the treasure in February 2012. A very small number of coins and effects recovered from the ship were deposited in Gibraltar, because they showed clear signs coherent with an internal explosion on the ship and thus confirmed Spanish claims to the wreck being that of the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes. They were not returned to Spain until 2013, when a court finally ordered Odyssey Marine to return the missing pieces.
originally posted by: Ghost147
YES! I love it when stuff like this is found.
I'm very glad to hear they aren't sharing the location too, it allows them to preserve it all and keep it away from looters
Super-cool find! thanks for sharing!
originally posted by: pteridine
The article said that the wreck had been known since 1982 and that the original finders were asking for 50%.
originally posted by: Spider879
10 Billion dollars in haul, Davy Jones locker is missing a few coins, all this from one Spanish Gallon I gotta ask how the heck Spain and Portugal became so broke, I mean they had a jump start the so called new world was divided by the Pope for them to rule,and within centuries they were rolled back by the Brits and to a lesser extent the Dutch.