The safe could be hiding millions in gold.
A diving team from Komiža, led by Lorenzo Marović and his son Andy, found a mysterious safe in the wreckage of the ship “Re d’Italia”, which was sunk during the Battle of Vis in 1866, reports morski.hr on August 28, 2018.
According to historians, it is quite possible that the safe contains the gold which was allegedly meant to help put Dalmatia under the Italian authority. “We had to wait for 13 years to confirm this finding. We will surely have to wait now a certain time to find out what is in the safe. For now, we have received oral approval for further dives,” said Andy.
Lorenzo discovered the exact position of the ship while searching for corals in 2005. The wreckage is located at the depth of 115 metres, 7 nautical miles north of Vis in the direction of Rogoznica. However, the discovery was accompanied by problems, primarily with future Culture Minister Jasen Mesić, who was at the time head of the Ministry of Culture’s Conservation Department. He led a French-Croatian team which investigated the wreckage just days after Marović found the remains of the ship.
They launched a court dispute which Marović lost at the Split court, in a procedure which he still considers controversial. “The court has grossly violated my rights by not taking into account all the evidence I had about the discovery. That is precisely one of the reasons why we immediately publicly announced this discovery,” said Marović.
A historical legend claims that the safe is filled with a certain amount of funds in the form of golden ducats, which were supposed to represent a basis for the opening of a banking system in Dalmatia that would serve to turn Dalmatians into Italians. Some people call it “silent colonization.”
If the content of the safe is confirmed, Marović could receive a reward of 10 percent of the estimated value, which is potentially assessed in the tens of millions of euro.
“Nowadays, we, fortunately, have a full cooperation with the Conservation Office in Split. With regard to the value of the safe, it is difficult to estimate it. It is suspected to be around 250,000 Italian lira of the time. But the most important thing for me is to keep this discovery for our children. There are 391 souls which were lost on the ship and they want peace and quiet, but now we have a lot of commotion there from people diving.
Our sea is so rich. That can best be seen by a recent discovery of a ship full of amphorae near Pag! And what else does the sea hide?” concluded Marović.
Translated from morski.hr (reported by Jurica Gašpar)