Christopher Columbus statue dressed in Barcelona shirt

The legendary explorer was kitted out in the new Blaugrana jersey in a publicity stunt much to chagrin of city rivals Espanyol
A statue of legendary explorer Christopher Columbus has been kitted out in a giant version Barcelona's 2013-14 shirt to celebrate its unveiling.

Sports giant Nike decided to pay €94,100 to dress up the famous sea adventurer, whose vision had more than hint of Xavi and who could do the seemingly impossible like Lionel Messi.

The collaborative media project between Barca's shirt sponsors and Havas Media was unveiled to morning commuters passing the city's famous Las Ramblas strip on Wednesday, much to the amusement of onlookers.

While many may see the funny side, it would be understandable if some Espanyol supporters failed to raise a laugh in regards to the media stunt.

Many supporters of the city's other football club have long felt that institutions blatantly favour Barcelona, though Espanyol have so far failed to respond to the publicity stunt.

Tension between Barcelona's two main footballing rivals has always been tense but this coming weekend as the Periquitos will perform a guard of honour for their local foes.

Havas Media have revealed that they have been trying to kit out Columbus for seven years and Nike have paid to keep the Columbus statue adorned in Blaugrana colours until the June 9.