Watch as ROVs capture the first images of a ship, that sank in 1771,
loaded with priceless paintings.
Tales of priceless jewels and gold doubloons inspire
shipwreck hunters to Herculean feats, but Vrouw Maria
belongs in a different category from the Spanish
galleons that dominate the visions of those who search
for sunken treasure. For one, Vrouw Maria was lost in the
Baltic Sea in 1771, and the story of her sinking, told
here, is both well-known and nearly miraculous. While no
lives were lost, her cargo - a matchless collection of
canvases from Dutch masters like Vermeer and
Rembrandt--has inspired centuries of fruitless searches.
From the dusty archives in Amsterdam to the fabled
Winter Palace, follow the 230-year trail that led
historians, engineers, and archeologists to finally
locate Vrouw Maria's remains. Watch as the first ghostly
images of the ship flicker on screen, and examine the
debate over what should happen now, one that embraces
everyone from Finnish politicians to American art
historians and traditional treasure hunters.