Columbus Lighthouse in Santo Domingo

Dominican Republic

By Contested Histories Initiative

The Columbus Lighthouse of Santo Domingo is an enormous mausoleum which is said to contain Christopher Columbus’ remains. The first plans to build a monument to Columbus date back to the mid-nineteenth century, and a competition to decide the design of the project was launched in 1928. The final project began in 1986, and was opened in 1992. The Lighthouse was controversial since its construction, as It meant the relocation of thousands of families from the area and the construction of a ‘Wall of Shame’ to hide the view of the closer poor neighbourhoods. In recent years, inspired by the global anti-Columbus and Black Lives Matter movement, there has been a gradual Indigenous and Black activism that is starting to contest the country’s colonial past and monuments. This case study explores the difficulties that emerge when trying to find a resolution for a contested monument of such large dimensions.

For the case study click here.