A Historic Italian Port Rediscovers A Sense of Unity with the Sea 1492/1992. PORTRAITS of a NEW WORLD SYMBOL
Richard L. Wentworth, Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor
LIKE Spain and the United States, Italy is preparing to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's famous voyage.
"Genoa will be one of the most important focal points" of Italian tourism this year, says a spokesman for the Italian State Tourist Board.
The believed birthplace of the explorer will play host to an international exhibition, "Christopher Columbus: Ships and the Sea," from May 15 to Aug. 15.
About 50 international exhibits at Genoa will highlight the historical evolution of ships and navigation, modern developments, and the future of marine sciences and technologies.
Renzo Piano, a Genoa native and the designer of the modern Georges Pompidou cultural center in Paris, has been commissioned for part of the Genoa project.
Although the city is Italy's largest port, Mr. Piano says townspeople have cut themselves off from the sea. He says he hopes to restore access to the waterfront and thus a sense of unity between sea and city.
The architect's activities are part of a larger urban-renewal project for the Ligurian city, which will bring badly needed modernization to the port, including new terminals for cruise ships and ferries, and a huge exhibition and tourist center. The work is expected to be finished later this decade. …