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SPC columbus santa maria The Santa Maria docked along the Scioto River in Columbus in 2008.
The Santa Maria docked along the Scioto River in Columbus in 2008.
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Published: Thursday, 8/14/2014

Ship replica won't return to Columbus riverfront


COLUMBUS — A replica of the Santa Maria is being dismantled and removed from the riverfront in Columbus — perhaps never to return.

The replica of Christopher Columbus’ flagship on the city’s Scioto River has to be moved to make way for a multimillion-dollar riverfront renovation project. But unless the nonprofit group that oversees the ship can come up with $1 million in repairs, the ship likely won’t return.

Officials said the wooden decks of the ship have decayed and need to be repaired. The city said Columbus Santa Maria Inc., which operates the ship, will need to pay for its renovations.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the city council allocated $500,000 a few months ago to remove the ship from the river so renovations to the riverbank can continue. Once removed, the ship will be dissembled into several pieces and stored in one of the city’s impounding lots. But the city said it will not allot money for repairs.

The replica first arrived downtown in 1991, with its $2 million cost funded by donations and private dollars. It was later given to the city of Columbus.

The ship is expected to be taken out of the water completely by Friday.

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