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Discovery of the Richest Shipwreck in the World - Sir Robert Marx Lecture

Robert Marx Lecture

Robert Marx, renowned underwater archeologist and deep sea explorer hosts The Discovery of the Richest Shipwreck in the World - The Portuguese Treasure Ship Flor Do Mar.  The event takes place Tuesday, February 24, 6:45 p.m. at the Gleason Center for Performing Arts on the Florida Tech campus.

Without any doubt, the Flor Do Mar is the richest treasure-laden ship ever lost, discovered and salvaged in history. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to get a foothold in the Orient, and this resulted in their becoming one of the richest nations in the world, along with Spain. From their bases in Macao and Malacca, they conquered and traded with China, Japan and other nations of the Far East, cramming the holds of their ships with exotic Oriental treasures.

The credit for this accomplishment goes to Affonso de Albuquerque who sailed from Lisbon aboard the Flor do Mar with 22 other warships and during the next six years conquered 16 different countries in the Indian Ocean from Mozambique on the east coast of Africa, amassing more plunder than had ever been seen before or since. After establishing a base in Malacca, Malaysia, he set sail with the greatest amount of treasure ever carried on a ship—in today’s value estimated at many billions of dollars.

Enroute back to Lisbon in 1511, the Flor do Mar was wrecked on a reef off the northern tip of Sumatra Island, Indonesia and then discovered in 1991 by Robert Marx who discovered and excavated a part of the ship’s treasures. Robert tells the story of what happened afterwards.

Bob Marx is a pioneer American scuba diver who began his career as a diving specialist in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1953. Since 1960 he has worked in the archives and libraries of more than 40 countries and spent over two years in the Archivo de las Indias in Seville, Spain, the main repository for researching Spain’s fascinating maritime history. He has been knighted in three countries.

The Gleason Performing Arts Center is located on the Florida Tech campus at 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne, FL.

Gleason Performing Arts Center
Feb. 24, 2015 - 6:45 p.m.
Donna Cassario (321) 674-6152