Columbus DNA evidence inconclusive

October 12, 2006

The only established present-day heir to Christopher Columbus says the navigator and admiral was born in the northern Italian port city of Genoa.

Spanish nobleman Cristobal Colon XX says despite inconclusive DNA evidence, his famed relative was not of noble Spanish or Catalan origin, the Italian news agency ANSA reports.

DNA comparisons from Columbus' bones, those of his two sons and other people with the same last name over the centuries have not proved Columbus was actually Spanish, a University of Granada genetics lab in Spain told ANSA.

"There are many theories about his birth, and new claims seem to come out every day," Colon said.

One claim by an Italian historian alleges Columbus was the illegitimate son of a Roman noblewoman and a young man who later became pope.

But Colon says he has no doubt the explorer "was the son of lowly Genoese wool trader and innkeeper Domenico Colombo."

Many countries commemorate Columbus' 1492 arrival in the New World Thursday.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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