Uruguay could sell Nazi bronze eagle from sunken Graf Spee battleship to fund defence

Uruguay could sell Nazi bronze eagle to fund defence

Uruguay could sell its Nazi bronze eagle

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Uruguay may sell a Nazi bronze eagle from the famous German battleship Graf Spee to raise funds for the country's defence.

The government is discussing detaching the sculpture from the battleship, which sunk during the Battle of Rio de la Plata in 1939.

The eagle was found in 2006 and since then the country has been given several offers of up to $52 million (£40 million) for the piece, RT reported.

Uruguay has always refused to sell, but now Jorge Gandini, the National Party deputy, is calling for the Nazi artefact to be sold.

He wants the money raised to go to the Ministry of Defence, according to newspaper El Pais.

If sold, 50% of the money would go to the state whilst the other half would be given to those who recovered it in 2006, including businessman Alfredo Etchegaray.

The German government has warned against selling the golden eagle as it fears it could be used by neo-Nazis. However Israel has yet to register its opposition to the sale.

Gandini has argued that only museums would be able to buy the artefact, while pointing out that other museums own such items without a problem.