A man with many names…
Cristóbal Colón, standing proudly on his column at the bottom of the Ramblas. You might know him as Christopher Colombus, Columbus’ name in English is actually an anglicized version of the Columbus birth name. According to most accounts, Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, as Cristoforo Colombo, which is obviously much more similar to the English version than is the Spanish one.
In most of the major European languages, Columbus’ name is similar to the Italian one: It’s Christophe Colomb in French, Kristoffer Kolumbus in Swedish, Christoph Kolumbus in German and Christoffel Columbus in Dutch.
Strangely enough, he is pointing not towards America, but towards Italy. Ashamed of what became of his ‘discovery’ of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Cuba, the massacre of the local tribes, refusing to convert, the european diseases, slavery… Maybe. Maybe not.
BTW, does anyone in America remember the italian cartographer Amerigo Vespucci? Aren’t you proud to live on an ‘italian’ continent?
And what about Leif Erikson?????