According to media reports, local lawmaker David Bonilla filed a resolution asking the government to study the viability of installing the bronze statue, which is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty without its pedestal, on the island of Desecheo.
The unassembled monument, known as "Birth of the New World," was first rejected by the US government. Russian sculptor Zurab Tseretelli attempted to have it installed in the US in 1992 to mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ 1492 journey to the Western Hemisphere.
The statue was then proposed for Mayaguez. The private contractor in charge of building a series of facilities for the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games announced that the corporation had bought the structure and would erect it in the municipality, but an appropriate location was never found. It has been in storage in Mayaguez ever since.
The statue shows Columbus at the wheel of a tiny ship with three billowing sails behind him. Critics have said the explorer's arms are too long, the head too small and his one-handed greeting pose silly.
Comment: I like the overall look of this monument: the abstract ship, the abstract globe, the balance between sails and pedestal. But it fails for several reasons:
1) The head and arms do look distorted and silly.
2) Although it might work in some harbors that need a focal point, kind of like a lighthouse, it's too big for most locations.
3) The "Birth of the New World" title is obviously offensive. Changing the title should be a condition of installing it anywhere.
4) The world doesn't need another monument to Columbus. There are too many of them already.
Three strikes and you're out. Four and you're way out.
It's kind of mind-boggling that Tseretelli would build the monument 1) without a guaranteed home and 2) with anatomical flaws that people would surely hate. One wonders what he was thinking.
It would be hard to convert this concept into a monument about Indians, or anything other than Columbus. Even if Tseretelli fixed the flaws, I'm not sure what anyone would do with it. It belongs in Genoa or a Columbus theme park--i.e., somewhere people still honor him for launching the invasion of the Americas.
Another posting says, "Today, Columbus lies fragmented in thousands of pieces of bronze, deteriorating in an outdoor lot next to the Bacardi Factory in Cataño." That's about all it deserves. I'm guessing common sense will prevail and this monument will never rise again.
For more on the subject, see Columbus Statue Defaced on Columbus Day and Columbus Toppled in Venezuela.