Installed in the southern part of Parc de Turin – named after the Italian city – in the heart of Montréal’s Little Italy, this monument is the result of a collaboration between the Centre Amerigo Vespucci, an organization affiliated with the Fédération italo-canadienne du Québec, the Knights of Columbus, and the Ville de Montréal. It pays tribute to Christopher Columbus, the famous navigator best known as the “discoverer of the Americas.” Although he was exploring on behalf of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, and died in Valladolid, Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy. In fact, the Italian community hoped, with this bronze bust, to highlight Columbus’s birthplace and revive his memory. Although produced in the mid-1970s, the bust takes up the classic tradition, with a polished finish and a generally immaculate, refined look. The sculptor, Armand de Palma, designed his artwork life size in order to create an intimate ambience around it.
Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy. His plan to travel to India was rejected, in succession, by the kings of Portugal, France, and England. On 7 April 1492, the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, having rejected the proposal once, finally signed in Santa Fe the accords enabling Columbus to finance his expedition. On 12 October 1492, certain that he had discovered a new continent, Columbus, at the helm of his ship the Santa Maria and accompanied by two other caravels, the Niña and the Pinta, landed in the Bahamas. This was the first of four voyages that Columbus made to the Americas in the employ of the Spanish royal couple. Weakened by gout (a form of arthritis), and surrounded by his family, Columbus died on 20 May 1506 in Valladolid, Spain.