Ethical Issues: The Spanish Government V. Odyssey

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In today 's world, sea divers and treasure hunters have found shipwrecks that contain millions of dollars while others have purchased priceless items for a measly rate. Because of these finds and purchases, the public raises the question: who owns these artifacts? Although it may seem obvious to you who owns the items, it is not an easy question. Start, for example, with Odyssey Marine Exploration, a US salvage company. They found an estimated $500 million in gold from a Spanish ship. Apparently, the Odyssey had transported the ship from Spanish territory to the US. The Spanish government sued Odyssey soon after their find, claiming that it was rightfully their property. According to the Spanish government, they still had an ongoing investigation…show more content…
Mainly, he purchased these items at a low price. Now several countries are demanding that their items be returned to their home territory. These countries are claiming that these items rightfully belong to them as they were made by natives to their lands. However, purchasing requires a transfer of ownership. If it were morally acceptable, you could sell one of your limbs for a set price and the transfer of money for limb would be binding. Ethics aside, when Getty purchased those artifacts, he gained complete control over those…show more content…
However, demanding that it be returned without an offer of compensation is unethical. Our society upholds a common standard: pay for what you want. Imagine for a moment that Eve Jobs, daughter of Steve Jobs the founder of Apple, decides that she wants your iPhone because her father created it. We would not think twice about it. It 's an outlandish claim. But what about the historical value or the lack of appreciation? Most artifacts are not kept behind a vault door but put on display for the public to see and appreciate. The historical value does not deteriorate. Furthermore, the founder of the item gave that item more life than it previously had. Some were completely forgotten, while others were found. Without these purchases and scavengers, these items would have no historical value and would continue to be unappreciated. If a country wants their artifacts back in their country, they should do the legal thing and offer compensation to the finder or previous purchaser. The items are not being damaged or underappreciated but have been given life. Do the right thing and give each man what he is
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