Trump: Russia’s giving me a giant statue of Columbus

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Sometime in January, Donald Trump is sitting for an interview when he receives a call from Michael Gordon, a reporter at the New York Times. Gordon wants to know if it’s true that Trump is getting a statue of Christopher Columbus from Russia.

“Yes, it’s already been made, from what I understand,” Trump says. He met the artist, Zurab Tsereteli, during his November trip to Moscow. Gordon spoke to Tsereteli before calling Trump.

According to Trump, the statue is six feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, Columbus’s head has already been sent to the U.S., and the whole piece — worth $40 million — is a gift from Russia.

Trump plans to erect the bronze monstrosity on the Hudson River by his Riverside South property, with Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s permission, of course.

The mayor of Moscow [Yuri Luzhkov] has written a letter to Rudy Giuliani stating that they would like to make a gift of this great work by Zurab. It would be my honor if we could work it out with the City of New York. I am absolutely favorably disposed toward it. Zurab is a very unusual guy. This man is major and legit.

Donald J. Trump

Trump doesn’t mention this, but he’ll also need permission from his Hong Kong investors who took over the land when his original plans to build the world’s tallest building were toppled.

The statue is eventually finished, but New York won’t accept it.

The Columbus statue, which Tsereteli eventually built, was also notoriously ugly. The Baltimore Sun nicknamed it “From Russia With Ugh” when some local businessman tried to plant the statue there. But Baltimore, along with New York, Columbus, Ohio, and Miami, all rejected it. It wasn’t until this month, after almost 20 years of homelessness, that the statue found a taker in Puerto Rico.

Mother Jones

External Sources

The New Yorker (Archived)

Mother Jones (Archived)

Source Photo: Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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