Oct 11, 2021 - News

Columbus open to selling replica Santa Maria

The wooden Santa Maria replica in the Scioto River.
The Santa Maria replica in the Scioto River in 2004. Photo: Joe Sohm/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It's been seven years since a replica of the Santa Maria, the flagship of Christopher Columbus, was removed from the Scioto River as part of a Scioto Mile redesign project. It remains in city storage with no plans to set sail anytime soon.

  • The $1.3 million attraction opened Oct. 12, 1991 as the centerpiece of a yearlong 500th anniversary celebration of Columbus' 1492 expedition.

Yes, but: The Santa Maria was controversial from the beginning.

  • On Columbus Day 1992, as city leaders celebrated on the deck, protesters in a nearby park held a "memorial service for those victimized by the European arrival in the Americas," the Associated Press reported at the time.

What they're saying: The city has no immediate relocation or sale plans for the Santa Maria, Kerry Francis, spokesperson for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, told Axios.

The intrigue: If you've got enough cash and interest in restoring it, officials will take your call.

  • "We’d be open to exploring any reasonable requests. We understand it would likely be cost-prohibitive due to its condition, therefore we don’t anticipate much interest," Francis tells us.
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