The bell of Christopher Columbus’s caravel Santa Mara to be auctioned in Miami

The bell of Christopher Columbus’s caravel Santa Mara to be auctioned in Miami


The bell, weighing less than 14.07 kilograms and less than 10 inches in diameter, has a value that, according to Sotheby’s and Christie’s appraisers, is at least $ 100 million.

The bell of Christopher Columbus’s caravel Santa Mara to be auctioned in Miami

  • Scuba diving Thus the remains of the shipwreck of the ‘Santa Mara’ were discovered

A bell believed to have belonged to the ‘Santa Mara’, the largest of the three ships of the voyage of discovery of America in 1492, to be put up for sale at a private auction at Miami (USA) by the Italian ex-sailor and diver Roberto Mazzara.

In a statement released Monday, Mazzara, who found the bell in 1994 on the north coast of Portugal and has kept it in a safe place in Miami since 2006, noting that “there is no question as to the authenticity of this historic gem.”

The bell, weighing less than 14.07 kilos and less than 25.4 centimeters in diameter, has a value that, according to the appraisers of Sotheby’s y Christie’s, is at least 100 million dollars (84.7 million euros at current exchange rates), adds the former Italian Navy officer.

The object he now wants to sell was confiscated from Mazzara, but he recovered it thanks to a court ruling in Spain in 2006.

According to the statement, the tests carried out by the University of Zaragoza on the chemical composition of the metal of the bell, the archives of the Indies in Seville and Simancas and documents that point to the King’s Hiring House, which recorded all maritime traffic between Spain and America, “coincide in the origin of the bell.”

“How I grew up with documentaries from Jacques CousteauI have always loved the mysteries of the seas and, as a professional diver, I was able to unite these two passions when I was first introduced to the search for this bell almost 30 years ago, “said Mazzara.

“The auction will be a wonderful opportunity to give collectors the opportunity to own a unique piece of history,” he said without specifying when and where it will take place.

In the first decade of the 21st century Mazzara tried to auction the bell of the caravel Santa Mara in Spain for a symbolic starting price of one million dollars (850,000 euros), but the sale was successful. provisionally suspended by the Spanish justice due to a request from the Portuguese Government.

The bell of Christopher Columbus’s caravel Santa Mara to be auctioned in Miami

Portugal demanded in February 2004 the application of a European directive for the “restitution of a cultural property that left the territory of a Member State of the European Union illegally”.

But in 2006, a Madrid court dismissed the claim because it was not filed within the established deadlines, and returned the bell to Mazzara, who had found it in 1994 in front of the port of Buarcos, in Figueira da Foz (Portugal).

The bell was placed on the keel of a Spanish ship, the San Salvador, which sank in 1555 off the coast of Portugal on the way to Spain.

The bell of the Holy Mary was part of the fixtures of the fortress that was built with the remains of the ship when it ran aground on the north coast of the city. La Espaola island, in an area that today is part of Haiti.

Christopher Columbus left 39 sailors there and, when in 1493 he returned on his second voyage, he found that the Indians had burned the fort, called Christmas, and killed all the Spanish.

The bell was sold years later, according to a document that appeared in Puerto Rico, where its purchase is recorded for a high amount for its time (32 pesos), and it is embarked on the ship San Salvador, captained by Gonzalo de Carvajal towards Spain.

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