A Spanish historian claims the real name of renowned explorer Christopher Columbus was Pedro Scotto.
The great navigator who opened up the American continents to Europe was Pedro Scotto - the real name of the 15th century explorer known as Christopher Columbus, according to a Spanish historian.
Alfonso Ensenat de Villalonga disputes the usual opinions about the explorer's origins - that he was the son of a weaver in Genoa, Italy, or that he was from Catalonia or Galicia in Spain, or of Corsican or Portuguese origin.
He was from Genoa but he was "the son of shopkeepers not weavers and he was baptised Pedro not Christopher", Villalonga was quoted as saying by the ABC newspaper on Sunday.
And his family name was Scotto, not Italian but of Scottish origin.
"He had light-coloured eyes and freckles. He also had blond hair even though it quickly turned white. That's how his contemporaries described him. Nothing like the traditional images (of him), which are totally invented," the historian said, according to ABC.
Villalonga cites a chronicle of Catholic kings written by Lucio Marineo Siculo, who refers in his writings to "Pedro Columbus", not Christopher.
The historian also claims that the navigator once worked for a pirate called Vincenzo Columbus, and adopted that family name in order not to "expose" his relations.
Villalonga says his research involved combing the archives in the Genoa region along with those in the Spanish history academy and national library.