The return of the cultural property from the frigate Mercedes to Spain not only set in motion a wide-ranging mechanism concerning documentation and preserving the legacy that was recovered. The sheer volume of the property recovered required investment and actions with regard to infrastructure and the equipment of the institution to which the property was assigned: ARQUA, the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
In relation to the Museum's infrastructure, refurbishment work has been carried out and facilities have been improved, both at its headquarters as well as on the ARQUATec laboratory ship in order to ensure that the collection from the frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is properly conserved and protected: this has been done in collaboration with Management of Infrastructure and Facilities in addition to the Sub-Directorate General for the Protection of Historical Heritage.
These actions, mainlyconcerning the refurbishment of extra spaces at the main part of the Museum along with the purchase of equipment so as to have a suitable space for the proper storage of items from the frigate, will guarantee their conservation and safety. In addition, the ARQUAtec laboratory has also been renovated and the equipment installed that is needed to carry out the restoration of items from the wreck.
The action on the infrastructure of the Museum was completed with the creation of a new exhibition called “Ocean Navigation" as part of ARQUA's permanent display and which, expanding on the geographical nature of the Museum, aims to explain changes in navigation as well as show a selection of objects from the frigate Mercedes, explain the construction of the ship, its sinking and the recovery of its cargo, as well as the relevance and necessity of protecting this kind of heritage.