Expatica news

Columbus’ final resting places?

29 June 2004

IBIZA — A Spanish scholar claimed Tuesday that the remains of explorer Christopher Columbus were divided — and both Spain and the Dominican Republic can claim to be the final resting place of the discoverer of the Americas.

Nito Verdera, who has been studying Columbus for decades, told EFE that he found the proof in the unpublished writings of Dr Charles W Goff in the Yale University archives.

Verdera’s statements come months after the head of a team investigating the remains of Columbus said the scientific data pointed to the same conclusion.

“The (discoverer’s authentic) remains are most likely in two places” (Seville and the Dominican Republic), Enrique Villanueva told reporters in January in the southern Spanish city of Almeria. “It’s the most plausible hypothesis.”

The controversy surrounding Columbus’ true resting place is centuries old. Since 1878, the Dominican Republic has claimed that his last remains are buried at Columbus Lighthouse in Santo Domingo.

Verdera is best known for his contention that the admiral was a native of the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, and that his real name was Colom.

He also claims  Columbus was a Catalan-speaking “Marrano”, a Jew forced to practice his religion undercover after conversion to Christianity was forced upon Jews by the Spanish Inquisition. The policy was initiated in 1492, when Columbus discovered the Americas.

Verdera bolsters his argument by noting that Columbus used the names of many places along the Ibiza and Formentera coasts in christening places he came upon in the Caribbean.

In the course of his research, the scholar uncovered documents showing that remains found in the Charterhouse of Seville are not those of the explorer’s brother Diego, but of the admiral himself.

Verdera said Goff’s files include findings of the analysis he conducted on the supposed remains of Columbus in Santo Domingo, as well as those believed to be Diego’s.

The results of Goff’s investigations show the remains kept in Santo Domingo and those found at the Charterhouse are from the same person, a man who died at age 60 or older and who had suffered arthritis in several vertebrae and other bones, Verdera said.
Currently, other remains kept in the Seville Cathedral until they were exhumed in 2003 and that are believed to be those of Columbus’s son – also named Diego – are undergoing DNA testing at the University of Granada’s genetic-forensic laboratory, a procedure to which researchers also expect to be able to subject those in Santo Domingo.

Verdera defends the thesis that the son was buried along with his father in Santo Domingo and that Spanish authorities mistakenly had his tomb taken to Havana in 1795, then to the Seville Cathedral.

“If the final results show that the remains of Christopher Columbus are those buried in Santo Domingo, then the theories about the admiral’s Genoese origins would be automatically discarded,” he said.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news