La Tribuna del Popolo
History of the Columbus Statue
The Columbus Statue was created by Italian sculptor Augusto Rivalta and dedicated to the city of Detroit on Oct. 12, 1910. The statue was made possible by donations from the readers and friends of the Italian newspaper, La Tribuna Italiana D’America, better known today as “The Italian Tribune.” The major force behind the project was Vincenzo Giuliano, editor of the Italian Tribune, who began the initiative in order to commemorate the four hundredth anniversary of the death of Columbus in 1906.
An inscription reads "Christopher Columbus, a great son of Italy. Born 1435 - Died 1506. Discovered America October 12, 1492. This monument is dedicated to his honor by the Italians of Detroit, October 12, 1910."
Materials and shipping costs amounted to around $2,300, but the sculptor, Augusto Rivalta, donated his work. The city paid for underground construction. On the day of the unveiling, October 12, 1910, a time capsule was placed in the pedestal, but was not found when it was moved in November 1987.
The bust and its base originally sat at the north end of Washington Boulevard at Grand Circus Park, but after restoration was moved to the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Randolph Street. The bust was rededicated in 1988.
Edward M. Baker, past publisher of The Italian Tribune, was the great grand-nephew of the sculptor.