More than 400 years ago a Dutch East India Company ship sank off the WA coast, taking thousands of treasures with it and leaving its men to mutiny on the Abrolhos Islands.
Over the following 100 years, three more Dutch ships sank in the area but their whereabouts were not known until the 1960s.
But yesterday, more than 1125 relics taken from the four ships - the Batavia, the Zuytdorp, the Vergulde Draeck and the Zeewijk - went on show at the WA Museum, gifts from the Netherlands.
The handover of the items follows an amendment to the Australian Netherlands committee on old Dutch shipwrecks agreement, signed at The Hague in 1972.
Dutch ambassador Willem Andreae said originally the Netherlands had half the artefacts but in 2006 decided to give them to WA so the collection would be as close as possible to where the items were found."We hope this would serve as a basis for showcasing and preserving our joint cultural heritage," he said. Tonight, Mr Andreae will officially hand over the collection by presenting Premier Colin Barnett with a pewter plate from the Batavia in a ceremony at the museum's shipwrecks gallery in Fremantle.