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Liberty State Park

La Vela di Columbo

The Sail of Columbus

Gino Giannetti

Jersey City /  La Vela di Columbo   Jersey City /  La Vela di Columbo


La Vela di Columbo (The Sail of Columbus)
This 6-story, sail shaped, bronze monument in Liberty State Park in Jersey City is a tribute to Columbus, and serves as a constant reminder of the significant role New Jersey and New York City played in the nations immigration history. The spectacular monument is in the park, across from Liberty and Ellis Islands.


The monument is a gift to the U. S. from the Italian city of Genoa. It is unveiled October 9, 1998.
A reduced copy of the sculpture is at the Christoforo Colombo Airport of Genoa.

About his Dan Rattiner wrote on 20 August 1998:
Miss Liberty From France, Columbus From Italy and the Princess From Portugal
. . . Now it turns out that there is a SECOND giant sculpture which has been in storage for some time awaiting where in New York Harbor it might go. This one is of Christopher Columbus . . . and it is in a storage warehouse somewhere in New Jersey. Originally, there was a competition by the City of Genoa, Italy, to build a Christopher Columbus for New York Harbor. There had been a competition in Genoa, it had been won by Gino Gianetti and it too had all the suitable endorsements from City officials. Unfortunately it also had suitable endorsements from New Jersey officials who wanted to see Christopher Columbus in the waterfront Liberty State Park facing out toward Ellis Island. Since there was a long standing jurisdictional dispute about who owned Ellis Island between New York and New Jersey, the statue of Christopher Columbus got caught up in that and went into storage.
Now, however, the courts have made their rulings involving Ellis Island, there is peace between New York and New Jersey, and this week it was announced, after final approvals came from Matilda Raffa Cuomo, the Coalition of Italian-American Associations chief Bill Fugazy and New York's economic Czar Charlie Gargano that Christopher Columbus could indeed reside in Liberty Park. The State of New Jersey is committing $10 million to refurbish the park. And an Italian-American group is raising $500,000 as start up money to get the monument up. There will be a great unveiling on Christopher Columbus' birthday. Plaques will be attached to the base of the monument and can be purchased by the general public to commemorate immigrant ancestors, just as immigrant ancestors can be commemorated by a purchase on Ellis Island's Immigrant Wall of Honor.
Nothing appears in the cards now to stop the appearance of Mr. Columbus in New York Harbor. Unless, of course, a vocal group of Swedes, Finns and Norwegians get together and begin to make noises about how Columbus was really not the discoverer of America, Lief Erickson was, four hundred years earlier, and if they want to put up a statue to Columbus they ought to put it up in the Dominican Republic which is where Columbus made his first landfall.


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Locatie (N 40°42'21" - W 74°2'36") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

Item Code: usnj24; Added: 26 October 2000

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