Lifestyle & Belief

Columbus statue could find home on empty island


A 1905 statue of Columbus in the main square of Valladolid, Spain.


Philippe Desmazes

Apparently not everyone wants Christopher Columbus towering over their homes.

So instead the explorer may find refuge on an uninhabited Puerto Rican island, the AP reports.

New York, Miami, Baltimore and other cities all didn't want a 600-ton bronze statue showing Columbus at the wheel with three sails billowing behind him.

Without a pedestal, the statue is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty. It was built two decades ago by Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the New World.

Critics say Columbus' arms are too long, his head too small and his pose just silly, according to the AP.

But this is hardly the first time a larger-than-life statue has met ridicule from residents. For every David or Venus de Milo, there are plenty of odd, offensive or just plain ugly statues built all over the world:

  • Popesaurus: Chilean weren't happy when a private university began to construct a 40-foot-tall statue of Pope John Paul II in the middle of Santiago. The pope's left hand gripped Jesus on the cross while his right extended outward — some dubbed it “Popesaurus.”
  • MJ larger than life: Indians have a thing for statues, and so one commissioned a mammoth statue of pop king Michael Jackson. The 12-foot, 3.5-ton sculpture of the legendary singer in an iconic pose was carved out of a single block of fragile black granite.
  • Sexist and sexy: A muscled man emerges from a volcano. His left arm holds a baby aloft toward the West, his right arm pulls a scantily clad woman behind him. This is Senegal's Monument to the African Renaissance. At 164 feet, it's taller than Lady Liberty. Critics charge the statue is sexist for portraying the woman as a completely subservient figure.
  • Dear Leader: A North Korean propaganda unit has become one of Kim Jong Il’s emerging foreign earners. Building North Korea-style monuments for other cash-strapped countries has become a cash lifeline worth an estimated $160 million in the last decade.

The Puerto Rican Congress still has to decide to take the statue out of storage and install it on the tiny island of Desecheo.

Follow Stephanie on Twitter: @stephaniegarlow

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