DNA May Make Columbus Home 'Priceless'

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Specialist website, Property in Spain await FBI DNA results to prove Mallorca's oldest house they are selling for Â?1M, was the home of Christopher Columbus.

The medieval finca of the Columbus family has been put up for sale in Mallorca with a €1M price tag and the prospect that it might be a “priceless” Trophy Home within a year.

Local historians believe explorer, Christopher Columbus was born and brought up in the house, parts of which have been inhabited for 5,000 years, and learned his seamanship at nearby Porto Colom, named in his honour. Now DNA specialists from the FBI and University of Granada are comparing samples from the remains of the discoverer of the Americas and the man Spaniards claim to be his real father who lived in Mallorca.

The results could rob Genoa, Seville, Cadiz and Santa Domingo capital of the Dominican Republic of their tourism icon because each city has long claimed Christopher Columbus as a citizen, but the impact for tourist driven Mallorca could result in a brand new multi-million pound industry.

The first name on the medieval deeds of Finca Son Colom de Sa Cove in Felanitx is “Colom” (Columbus) and for centuries afterwards, that town has produced a string of cartographers with local legend claiming Christopher Columbus as its most famous son. The DNA tests being carried out in Spain, Germany and France might produce evidence in support of Mallorca, which has never been able to market the legendary finca as a Columbus attraction because it has always been in private ownership.

Now, exactly 504 years after the name of Jaime Colom – uncle of Cristobal Colom - went on the deeds and a decade of careful authentic restoration, the current family owners, have decided to sell-up and return to France. That leaves new buyers with the prospect of controlling one of the world’s greatest trophy homes. “If the DNA tests prove positive for Mallorca, the property would be priceless - probably couldn’t be bought for a galleon stuffed with treasure from the Americas”, said Terry Walker of Property in Spain, the leading property website, appointed to handle the sale.

The 17,000 M2 estate includes the original Columbus family home in a complex of main house, three separate casitas, a living cave first occupied 5,000 years ago and a Roman mine. There are seven bedrooms, three bathrooms, a Great Library, kitchen, loft, sauna, tropical courtyard, boccia pitch and large swimming pool. There’s under floor heating and a log burner fireplace, garaging for five cars, purification plant, sat-TV, ADSL phones.

1,000 M2 of living space is augmented by a 500M2 habitable limestone rock cave which is dry and warm in winter and naturally cooled in summer and would make an interesting restaurant or themed attraction along with a Roman mine. The Finca could be used as a private residence or commercially as a bijou hotel with cavern dining room. Planners in Mallorca would be keen to see a commercial use that offered good tourist access.

If the DNA link was made, it could become the holiday Island’s greatest cultural attraction, drawing in many additional visitors from America and around the world.

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Kevin Barnett