A few years ago, the San Jose Mercury News (California), presented a story about the loss of a gold statuette piece from a museum in Europe, along with full-color photograph of 'The Saleria'. The gist of the article was that two people had entered the museum through its dome, and then the piece was gone.
The Stuart News (Florida) journal describes the efforts of divers with "legendary treasure hunter Mel Fisher's organization" to find artifacts believed to have been spilled from centuries-old Spanish galleons. Such recent stories include 'Pieces of history recovered from watery grave' (5/14/2008) and 'Trinkets recovered from Spanish shipwreck' ( 5/20/2008). The photographs which accompany such stories (see www.CBSNews.com (5/20/2008) show tiny artifacts which have designs and small-scoop artistic features which are similar to the larger, lost Saleria.
Therefore, anyone making a mental connection between the lost European museum piece and the found, much smaller gold pieces located in ocean waters off Key West, Florida, must wonder whether an entire heist has simply been carried away from Europe and dumped near old shipwrecks along the Atlantic coast of North America and further into the Caribbean Sea. The Stuart publications refer to a "scatter pattern" of artifacts underwater and the work of archaeologists to identify the figurines.
That boat-builders have recently fashioned a vessel which sports a stained-glass dome does indicate some psychological ploy intended to nab the reported suspects, who were not named in the SJMN article but who may have been attempting their own version of an museum-exchange action. The newspaper stories surmise that the spoon-type artifacts can be linked with cocaine use but other reasons that the Treasure Coast "booty" is being located and recovered have not yet been presented.