Birth of the New World Statue - Cristobal Colon Statue, Arecibo

#12 of 20 in Things to do in Arecibo
Monument · Hidden Gem · Landmark
The Birth of the New World is a colossal sculpture located on the Atlantic coastline of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. In 2016, it became the tallest statue in the hemisphere, surpassing Mexico's Guerrero Chimalli .HistoryOriginally conceived by Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli as a monument to conmemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's first voyage, Birth of the New World was constructed in 1991. The statue prominently depicts Columbus controlling an anachronistic depiction of a steering wheel, with a backdrop featuring the Niña, Pinta and Santa María traversing the Atlantic Ocean. Made of 2,750 bronze and steel pieces and weighting more than 600 tonnes, the monument's height made it the tallest in the Western Hemisphere during the last decade of the 20th century, dwarfing the Statue of Liberty and the Monumento a la Paz (also known as Virgen de la Paz). Tsereteli offered Birth of the New World to the cities of Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New York City and Columbus, Ohio, but none of those cities accepted it, considering it an eyesore due to its disproportionate features or because its size would affect their skylines. The statue gathered the derogatory nicknames of "Chris Kong" and "From Russia with Ugh" while searching for a base. This, combined with the magnitude of undertaking such a project kept the monument from finding a home for several years. Despite the hindrances, the monument was featured in a stamp. A smaller and modified version, named The Birth of a New Man and meant to be the European link of a two-part composition along with Birth of the New World, was adopted by Seville, Spain, and dedicated there in 1995.
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Birth of the New World Statue - Cristobal Colon Statue reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
50 reviews
  • It’s a statue , what’s the big deal . I don’t celebrate Christopher Columbus. There’s nothing close to do, it’s just a walk to see it. You can continue driven and get to Bocata smokehouse or salitre.....  more »
  • Driving into Arecibo you can't help but to notice this gigantic statue, it's taller than the Statue of Liberty. There is some mixed emotion about it having Christopher Columbus on the statue. The...  more »
  • Not sure why so many of the reviews for The five Stars. This is the largest Erica for goodness sakes! And it has historical importance of Christopher Columbus series of discoveries in North America irrespective of what textbook you read. What a great gigantic sculpture to admire and plunder our Western hemisphere history. at a minimum, it is worth a drive-by for a couple of photos and a little reflection on our past.
  • Nice sculpture but they charge you to get in and don't know if it's worth the $3 to take pictures from the parking which is a little bit far.

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