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STAFF REPORTER A CONFERENCE is taking place tomorrow in the Cultural Centre at Costitx organised by the Christopher Columbus Association which aims to re-examine the national origins of the great 15th century explorer. The hypothesis is still on the table that he might actually have been Majorcan.

The theme of the conference will be “Christopher Columbus and the discovery of America”. Attendees will be attempting to place the person of Columbus in a historical context as having been born in Felanitx in 1460 - the son of the Prince of Viana and Margalida Colom. An initial presentation will be given by the president of the Royal Academy of Medicine of the Balearic Islands, Alfonso Ballesteros, whilst the leader of the Balearic Parliament, Maria Antonia Munar will bring the event to a close.

The first address will be given by Cristobal Colon de Carvajal, the Duke of Veragua, who will talk on “The loss of the ship, the Santa Maria.” The Duke of Veragua is the most direct descendant of the discoverer of America, as amongst the various branches of the Columbus line, he belongs to the main “trunk” of the family tree. The generations have been traced meticulously since the death of the Admiral in 1506. The Duke is clearly visible as the head of that particular offshoot of descendants, now in its twentieth generation. Second to speak will be the president of the Royal Columbine Society of Huelva, Doctor Jose Maria Segovia Azcarate who will speculate on “What was the real face of Christopher Columbus like?” Following a break, Doctor Manuel Antonio Garcia Arevalo, the president of the Garcia Arevalo Foundation of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic will bring a new perspective to bear on the personality of Columbus and finally, the conference will be addressed by Gabriel Verd Martorell, secretary of the Christopher Columbus Cultural Association on the subject of new historical evidence to support the theory that the explorer was Majorcan.

Sponsors for the occasion include the Grup Serra publishing group of which the Majorca Daily Bulletin is part. Those interested in attending can call 971-278259. The conference will take place in Spanish.