Columbus Monuments Pages
Zurab K. Tsereteli
A 12-foot tall model of the statue was sold for scrap and reassembled in Dundalk, Maryland.
A model of this monument is the left photo, with the San Juan Harbor in the background. This model is 25 cm high and the diameter at the base is 10 cm.
Latest news, The Telegraph
Too ugly Christopher Columbus statue finds home after 20 years
By Fiona Govan 8:22PM BST 29 Jul 2010
A colossal statue of explorer Christopher Columbus has finally found a home in Puerto Rico after a two decade quest and a string of rejections because it was deemed too ugly
The 600-ton monument, which stands at 350 ft tall, was given to the United States as a gift of friendship by its Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli.
But the bronze creation, designed to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the New World in 1492, was shunned by cities across America before finally being accepted by Puerto Rico.
The statue depicts a towering Columbus at the wheel of a ship, three sails billowing behind him but critics complain that the arms are too long, the head too small and the explorer's pose - one hand raised in a stiff-armed greeting - makes him look ridiculous.
In Columbus, Ohio, it was rejected after earning the moniker "Chris Kong". The people of Baltimore, Maryland, similarly turned it down, but not before it was dubbed: "From Russia with Ugh".
Standing at twice the height of The Statue of Liberty without its base, the giant was also offered to New York, and the Florida cities of Fort Lauderdale and Miami but all three declined to have it darken their skylines.
However, it may finally have found a resting place on the Caribbean shores of Puerto Rico, where Columbus landed in 1493.
The island, a territory of the USA but not one of its 50 states, accepted the gift but had been at pains to know where to put it.
Plans to erect it near Catano, a seaside resort near the capital San Juan, were scuppered when aviation authorities said its great height posed a threat to aircraft.
Now plans have been made to erect the statue on a site near the port of Arecibo on the island's northern coast, according to Jose Gonzalez, whose company runs the port.
"It already was inspected by the artist and approved by him," Mr Gonzalez said of the proposed site.
The island's government has estimated that it would cost more than $20 million dollars (£12.8m) to assemble the statue from its 2,750 pieces, but believe it would prove a valuable tourist attraction.
Tsereteli, 76, one of Russia's best-known sculptors, has produced a long list of artistic creations reviled the world over.
When his 300ft tall statue of Peter the Great was unveiled on the banks of the Moscow river, protesters thought it so ugly they placed explosives at its base, only abandoning plans to blow it up for fear of killing passersby.
His more modest sized memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales, unveiled at Moscow's museum of modern art in 2001 was described as "a cross between Catherine the Great and a Georgian milkmaid".
Item Code: pr008; Added: 18 November 2006 / Updated: 6 December 2010
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