The Civil Guard recovers a bronze cannon from the 16th century looted two weeks ago in Punta de Espiñeirido (A Coruña)

This piece is one of the three discovered by chance by shellfish fishermen in the area last April, and was later looted from its location.

Pending study to determine age and provenance, at the discretion of experts from the Xunta de Galicia, it could belong to one of the ships sent by Felipe II to fight England in 1596

The investigation was carried out jointly by the Territorial Team of the Judicial Police of the Civil Guard of Noia and the Historical Heritage Section of the Central Operational Unit (UCO)

7 people, 5 men and two women, have been investigated as alleged perpetrators of a crime against historical heritage

The Civil Guard, in a joint investigation carried out by the Territorial Team of the Judicial Police of the Civil Guard of Noia (A Coruña) and the Historical Heritage Section of the Central Operative Unit (UCO), has recovered a cannon that had been looted in the Coruña town of Ribeira.

This investigation began after the news of the accidental discovery of three apparently bronze cannons by shellfish fishermen in the area on April 14 and the disappearance of one of them when, the next day, authorities of the Xunta de Galicia supported by the Navy were able to recover only two of the guns initially located, suspecting that the third could have been looted.

Video of the looting itself

The first actions carried out focused on the existence of a video in which the images of the canyon being plundered while it was still submerged appeared.
This fact, together with the contradictions in the account offered by some of those investigated and the complaint by the Xunta de Galicia, made it possible for the Civil Guard to identify those who could have participated in the disappearance of the cannon, in addition to clarifying whether it could be anchored in a safe place or hidden in one of the properties of those investigated.
Finally, thanks to the rapid intervention of the acting Units, it has been possible to recover this valuable piece that, probably, was refloated the same night from its location and that was finally delivered by some of those investigated in the Main Post of the Civil Guard of Boiro (A Coruña).
It is suspected that the looting is due to the personal whim of one of those investigated, seeing the cannon as a good object of decoration. Beyond the value that could be obtained from its foundry, its greatest importance lies in the valuable historical and archaeological information it provides, which is lost when the piece is removed from its context and location, damaging, often irreversibly , the underwater archaeological site where it was located.

Transfer to the Vigo Sea Museum

In coordination with the Archeology Service of the Xunta, it was decided to move the cannon to the Museum of the Sea of ​​Vigo (Pontevedra), where work will begin to try to stabilize the metal of which it is composed, without which it would inevitably deteriorate, complex costly and durable restoration task.
In the same way, it will now be these technicians who will try to piece together "the puzzle" of which this cannon is a part, together with the two that were initially extracted, which will certainly provide information of great historical value.
In this sense, it should be noted that the 2001 UNESCO Convention on Underwater Archaeological Heritage prioritizes the in situ conservation of these archaeological elements, leaving emergency intervention for cases in which there is a risk of looting and / or deterioration.
For more information, you can contact the Press Office of the Central Operational Unit (U.C.O.), telephone 91.503.13.27.


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