Judge: Spain can take treasure from Florida company

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By: Mitch Stacy, Associated Press
TAMPA (AP).- A federal judge on Friday signed off on a Spanish government plan to begin moving a vast shipwreck treasure from Florida to Spain next week, culminating a five-year legal battle with the treasure hunters who found and raised it off the Portuguese coast. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Pizzo ordered Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration to give Spanish officials access to the 17 tons of silver coins and other artifacts beginning Tuesday. It’s been stored in an undisclosed facility since Odyssey salvaged it from the wreck of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes and brought it back to the Tampa area in May 2007. The treasure is expected to be moved out of the storage facility by Feb. 24, but because of security concerns