More than twenty years after winning the right to host scale models of the three ships Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to the Caribbean in 1942, the City of Corpus Christi says the remaining two ships in his control will be demolished, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
Carol Rethmeyer, who is the executive director of the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, which has cared for the ships and placed them on public display, says the ships are deteriorated to the point where they cannot be properly repaired. She points out the replicas lasted longer than the originals.
"They have lasted actually 25 years, which well exceeds the natural life span of a wooden boat," she said.
Some pieces from the ships will be used to repair the Pinta, which is in a private collection and is still on display.
Corpus Christi Assistant City Manager Wes Pearson says there is some opposition to the plan to demolish the Nina and Santa Maria.
"You've got some folks who are very emotionally attached to the ships," he said. "But I think that attachment is more to what was than to what they are today."
Corpus Christi won a spirited competition to house the ships, which were a gift of the government of Spain to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage in 1992. Rethmeyer says the plaza where the Santa Maria and the Nina are now located will be turned into a children's park.