The statue was created in 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. It was unveiled in Central Park on May 12, 1894. In August 2017, the statue was vandalized with red paint and graffiti reading “Hate will not be tolerated” and ‘#somethingscoming”. The statue was restored shortly thereafter
For the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage in 1492, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society commissioned Spanish sculptor Jeronimo Sunol (1839–1902) to fashion this bronze portrait sculpture. The statue employs religious and imperialist imagery as the explorer holds in his right hand the Spanish flag with a cross on top. At his side, a globe is mounted to a cable-entwined capstan. The statue bears similarities to Sunol’s Columbus monument installed in 1885 at the Plaza de Colon in Madrid.
The statue rests on an elaborately carved granite pedestal with numerous undercuts, bevels and moldings designed by architect Napoleon Le Brun. It complements the monuments of Shakespeare, the Indian Hunter, and Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns installed earlier in the southern region of the Mall in Central Park. On May 12, 1894