Finding a Home for Huge Columbus Statue

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary It has been in pieces in storage since 1998. Now the Puerto Rican government wants to finally assemble and put in place the huge statue of the discoverer Christopher Columbus by the noted sculptor Zurab Tsereteli. The Columbus sculpture was created in the early 1990’s along with another statue of Columbus which is now in Spain. The statue for Puerto Rico has Christopher Columbus behind a ship’s steering wheel and above him are the three ships the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

The major problem with the status is its huge size. Where can it be put? At first San Juan was proposed, but when it got in the flight path of airplanes three more locations were suggested. The other three are another location in San Juan, on the island Desecheo, and in Arecibo. The funding for putting the statue in place has been approved, but no one is sure where they want it put. But there is no question that the Puerto Rican government wants this huge statue put into place.

Taller than the Statue of Liberty, the Columbus statue is being seen as not only a commemoration of a great man but also as a major tourist site. This is why San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini still wants the Columbus statue because of the tourism money it will generate. Other Puerto Rican legislators want the huge Columbus statue for the western side of the island to generate tourism there. Fortunately in Puerto Rico there is no conflict about Christopher Columbus or his legacy. He is seen as being part of the rich Spanish heritage that has also shaped the island of Puerto Rico.

Now the question is where does the statue go? Regardless of where it goes, there is no question that a statue that big will definitely attract people from all around Puerto Rico and well beyond.

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