Statues representing the four phases of the life of Christopher Columbus:
Vision, Persuasion, Discovery, and Chains.
The plaque contains the following text:
COLUMBUS, THE STORY IN FOUR IMAGES OF THE MAN
Christopher Columbus, 1448-1510, was a Genovese mariner in the service of the great Spanish Empire of 500 years ago whose vision of a world connected across uncharted seas led to his arrival in the new
world in 1492. Returning from the first voyage (1492-93) and marching in triumph from Palos to the court in Madrid, Columbus bore a parrot on his wrist as the symbol of his discovery, as the phoenix was the bird of renewal in the classical world, and the dove the voice of the medieval world, the vision of Columbus is symbolized by the multicolored, exotic symbol of the western world. The young Columbus staggers before the certainty of a greater world, which, with his navigational skill, he will ultimately traverse. He explains to the skeptical powers that the world is spherical and small and the sea to him is as the land is to them. As he placed his foot upon the rich earth of the new world, Columbus set in motion ripples that continue to affect the lives of modern men and women around the globe. Despite the depth of his vision, Columbus returned to Spain a man broken of spirit and bound by the society in which he had once flourished. The visions that make men great are as timeless as we are timebound, where there is no vision, the people perish. Vision is our consolation. Why do mountains, rivers, nations, cities all over the world remember this man's name? As history weighed more heavily in the old world, he saw a vision of a new world, may we too, in our communities and our time, share this renewing vision.