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home : news : national news free April 3, 2020

2/22/2020 12:36:00 PM
History comes to life with replica ships

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Replicas of Christopher Columbus’ Nina and Pinta have arrived along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, sailing into a Biloxi harbor as spectators aimed their phones out to the horizon.

Columbus used the Nina on three of his four voyages to the New World beginning in 1492.

He was long celebrated in the U.S., and is honored with a federal holiday — but in 1992, with the 500th anniversary of his first transatlantic voyage, more voices joined in the call for a reckoning with the brutal aspects of his legacy. Columbus’ arrival brought violence, disease, enslavement, racism and exploitation to the native people. Some states and cities have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day.

The original Nina was last heard from in 1501, but this replica, which was finished in 1991, serves as a floating museum. It was built entirely by hand, without the use of power tools, and is considered to be the most historically accurate Columbus ship replica ever built.

The Pinta replica was built in Brazil and launched in 2005 to accompany the Nina on travels. It’s a larger version of the archetypal “caravel,” the term for a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers.





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