Huge Columbus statue unveiled in Puerto Rico

A giant statue of the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus was unveiled in Arecibo on the northern coast of Puerto Rico on Tuesday (June 14).

Russian-based sculptor, Zurab Tsereteli, created the 268 ft (81,68 meter) monument from 2,500 pieces of bronze and steel manufactured in Russia and some 2,000 sq. ft (185.80 sq. meters) of copper sheets.

The statue, entitled ‘Birth of a New World,’ and weighing in at 6,500 tons, is almost twice the height of New York’s Statue of Liberty without its base, and is double the height of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer.

The artwork took over 110,000 hours to assemble. Tsereteli, who studied at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts before relocating to Moscow, began working on the structure, that portrays Columbus standing at the helm of the Santa Maria ship, in 1992.

It is one in a set of two: a second statue, named ‘The Birth of a New Man’, has been erected in Seville, Spain, to mark the point where Columbus started his journey to the Americas. ‘New World’, unveiled on June 14, has been erected near the point where Columbus landed in 1492.

The monuments were commissioned to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s Americas voyage.