Disputes over the Falklands have raged for decades
An Argentine antique dealer made contact with the Falklands’ officials last October, hoping to sell a copy of the document for a whopping £2.17million (€2.5million) in cash.
Gabriel Di Bernardo, the Secretary of the group Asociación Civil de Amigos Malvinas/Falklands (ACAMF), offered what he claimed to be a copy of an important ancient document from Argentina’s Congressional archives in exchange for the huge figure.
Mr Di Bernardo, acting in his role as an antique dealer, reportedly asked for the money in €500 notes and wanted it to be delivered to a location in Rosario.
Gavin Short, a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the Falkland Islands, said he and other members of the Falklands government were aware of the document and the “rather startling amount that he wanted for it.”
Mr Short said: “We have not formally ever held a meeting about this issue but have spoken to each other and are of the opinion that we will not be parting with tax payer’s money on something that we have not seen, nor know the authenticity of, nor know whether it’s legally the gentleman’s property to sell.
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Demonstrators from the United Left burn a British flag 02 April 2001 in front of the British Embassy in Buenos Aires. The demonstrators marked the 19th anniversary of the invasion of the Islas Malvinas that led to the Falklands War
“The gentleman himself has never, to my knowledge, approached the Falkland Islands Government directly about the document.”
He added: “There is plenty of evidence already available that destroys the credibility of the Argentine claim.”
A mural dedicated to the Falklands, known as the 'Malvinas' in Argentina
The MLA noted that Mr Di Bernardo was “part of Ricardo Gomez Kenney’s ‘Falklands reconciliation group’ or whatever they call themselves who say that they want to examine all evidence no matter whether it helps or hinders the Argentine claim, yet here we have one member of that group, saying that he has a document which will help us and is not prepared to make it available to either us or the Argentines without a huge amount of money changing hands”.
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He added: “It makes you wonder whether the gentleman should be part of such a group and indeed I know the group is aware of his activities and are not doing anything to try and make the document publicly available which also brings their credentials and credibility into question.”
War veterans demand the Falklands are returned to Argentine rule
“If we had a few spare millions I would rather spend it (after a new power station) on buying and on-selling what remains of the FIC and not on something we have neither seen nor been contacted directly.”
Disputes over who governs the remote archipelago began after Argentina invaded the Falklands in 1982, leading to a short war that resulted in Britain retaking the islands at a cost of over 900 lives.