ARECIBO, PUERTO RICO JAN 3, 2023
The statue, named Birth of the New World, is one of the strangest things I have ever laid my eyes upon. It is the tallest statue in the western hemisphere and could not be more inappropriately and uncomfortably positioned on the beautiful, natural rural coastline of Puerto Rico. Obviously, some people are extremely unhappy about the construction of this and it is unarguably extremely bizarre and chilling to see in person. It is also hard to photograph because there is alarmingly no real way to visit or view the property. Plans to build a theme park were halted by Hurricane Maria when the initial constructions of infrastructural buildings were destroyed. This beast of an eyesore is 50 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty!
Last month, Puerto Rico was devastated by the effects of Hurricane Maria. Homes and buildings were completely destroyed, as the U.S. territory is now tasked with the arduous task of rebuilding. Ironically, one of the islands tallest structures survived the heavy storm: a 350-foot statue of Christopher Columbus. Dubbed Birth of the New World, the colossal sculpture was assembled on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, in the city of Arecibo (roughly 45 miles west of San Juan). At the time of its dedication, in 2016, the structure officially became the tallest statue in the hemisphere.Nick Mafi, ArchitecturalDigest.com – Puerto Rico Has a Christopher Columbus Statue That’s Taller Than the Statue of Liberty
While the statue ended up in Puerto Rico, the work of art was originally planned to have been a donation to the U.S. to mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s landfall in 1492. It was first turned down by Columbus, Ohio, before other cities (including New York, Boston, Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami) followed suit. Eventually, after years of discussions, Birth of the New World finally found a home in Puerto Rico, where Columbus arrived in 1493.
The statue was designed by the Georgian-Russian painter, Zurab Tsereteli, a billionaire who sits on the boards of four Moscow museums, is an ambassador for the United Nations, and hold such distinct honors as France’s Legion d’Honneur. The structure—which weights 6,500 tons, is composed of 2,500 pieces of bronze, steel, and copper, and took over 110,000 hours to assemble—has been welcomed with mixed reviews. Some see it as an important part of tourism in the area, while others believe it’s a symbol of the nefarious treatment of Indians in Puerto Rico.
While the popularity of the statue may be up for debate, the sheer size of it is not. Not only is Birth of the New World roughly 50 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, but it’s double the size of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer.Nick Mafi, ArchitecturalDigest.com – Puerto Rico Has a Christopher Columbus Statue That’s Taller Than the Statue of Liberty
Shot on iPhone by Luke Schlauder.
Categories: Puerto Rico
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