Tsereteli’s Columbus monstrosity may finally be built

For controversial Georgian/Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli (shown left with another of his creations), who even the Associated Press feels comfortable describing as “widely disliked” and who was featured prominently on our world’s ugliest statues list, his massive sculpture of Christopher Columbus — twice the height of the Statue of Liberty —  is the one that ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
566515_100729_putin69tsereteli2.jpg
566515_100729_putin69tsereteli2.jpg

For controversial Georgian/Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli (shown left with another of his creations), who even the Associated Press feels comfortable describing as "widely disliked" and who was featured prominently on our world's ugliest statues list, his massive sculpture of Christopher Columbus -- twice the height of the Statue of Liberty --  is the one that got away:

It was given to Puerto Rico as a gift after New York, Miami, Baltimore and other cities refused to accept, for reasons ranging from cost to appearance. The Baltimore Sun called it "From Russia with Ugh."

The statue has been sitting unassembled in a warehouse in Mayaguez since 1991, but is now on the move after a town finally agreed to accept it:

For controversial Georgian/Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli (shown left with another of his creations), who even the Associated Press feels comfortable describing as “widely disliked” and who was featured prominently on our world’s ugliest statues list, his massive sculpture of Christopher Columbus — twice the height of the Statue of Liberty —  is the one that got away:

It was given to Puerto Rico as a gift after New York, Miami, Baltimore and other cities refused to accept, for reasons ranging from cost to appearance. The Baltimore Sun called it “From Russia with Ugh.”

The statue has been sitting unassembled in a warehouse in Mayaguez since 1991, but is now on the move after a town finally agreed to accept it:

The chosen spot is near the coastal town of Arecibo, Jose Gonzalez, administrator of Holland Group Ports Investments, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“It already was inspected by the artist and approved by him,” Gonzalez said. He declined to identify the specific location.

Tsereteli projects have a way of falling through at the last minute, but if built, it will be the tallest structure on what was, until now, a very beautiful island.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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