The Construction of the Birth of the New World Monument by Zurab Tsereteli is Being Completed in Arecibo, Puerto Rico

The  construction of the 126m tall Birth of the New World monument is being completed in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The Birth of the New World monument by the world renowned sculptor, President of the Russian Academy of Arts, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, People’s Artist of Russia Zurab Tsereteli is one of the two-piece sculptural concept dedicated to the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s historical sail to the shores of America.

In honor of this event the Spanish people and Americans have made a decision to place the monuments in their two countries and announced an international competition in 1989. The winner was Zurab Tsereteli’s project “How Europe Discovered America” consisting of two sculptural compositions: one – for Europe and the other – for the American continent.

The first 45m tall monument entitled “Birth of the New Man” was erected in Seville (Spain) in 1995 – the starting point of Columbus’s sail.  In 1994 the UNESCO Commission for Culture appreciated the Birth of the New Man monument as the best work of plaster art and its small replica was installed in the inner courtyard of the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Now, the sculpture is in the collection of UNESCO along with works by Picasso, Chagall, Giacometti and other masters.

The Birth of the New World monument is installed on the Northern coast of Puerto Rico in the town of Arecibo. Standing tall and facing the same waters once navigated by Columbus himself, it welcomes visitors across the globe arriving by air and sea to Puerto Rico and is expected to be one of the major tourist attractions on the island. The Monument features Columbus aboard a caravel with three square cross-adorned sails rising behind. The ship crests above a scrolled map of the Atlantic Ocean showing three smaller vessels tracing the voyage route. The 126 m tall statue, which foundation is based on piles driven to a depth of 45-64 m is a unique work of art and engineering executed by Russian and American specialists.    

Zurab Tsereteli has many symbolic sculptural works worldwide. Among them are  his sculptural compositions dedicated to the Special Olympic Games  in 1979 and donated to the University of Brockport (USA), “Good Defeats Evil” sculpture installed  on the north lawn of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City and the Monument to the Struggle Against World Terrorism in Bayonne, New Jersey, USA. The artist is a holder of numerous highest honors and awards of Russia and other countries.    

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