Jewel of the Mediterranean

Photo: EPA A diver swims near a sculpture during the inauguration of the underwater museum in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, 1 August.

At the new Ayia Napa Underwater Sculpture Museum (MUSAN), located in the Pernera area of Ayia Napa, visitors, both swimmers with mask and flippers and divers, will be able to tour around an underwater forest, the first of its kind in the world.

This is where they can find 93 works of art by Jason deCaires Taylor, inspired by nature and man. At the same time, the museum is in itself a work of art in which nature is playing the role of an artist who makes interventions as time goes by. The statues have been designed in such a way and with such materials so as to attract marine life. They are exhibited at different depths so as to create ideal conditions for the enrichment of marine life at all levels.

The sculptures are constructed using inert, pH neutral materials so as not to adversely affect the exhibition area. The site is a sandy area, 200 meters from the coastline of Ayia Napa and it is expected that, as time goes by, the biodiversity of the area is also enriched – thanks to the museum.

Museum visitors can be divers but also swimmers with a face mask. The whole project is a journey into the relationship of man and nature as inspired by Jason deCaires Taylor, the acclaimed British sculptor who also designed the first underwater sculpture park – the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada. This has joined the list of the 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. The artist uses his knowledge and skills as a sculptor, marine conservationist, underwater photographer and scuba diving instructor to create unique works of art that complement the exhibition space while enhancing marine life.

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