This monumental underwater contemporary museum of art was founded in 2009. Called MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) it was created in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc.
The project, founded by Jaime González Cano, Director of the National Marine Park, Roberto Díaz Abraham, then President of the Cancun Nautical Association and English sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor now consists of over 500 permanent life-size sculptures and is one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world.
The Museum exhibits the interaction between art and environmental science and forms part of a complex reef structure for marine life to colonize and inhabit whilst increasing biomass on a grand scale. All of the sculptures are fixed to the seabed and made from specialized materials used to promote coral life. The total installations occupy an area of over 420 sq meters of barren substrate and weighing in at over 200 tons.
Eerie and fantastic, all the figures have closed eyes and seem lost and yet, found.
The Cancun-Isla Mujeres Marine Park is one of the most visited stretches of water in the world with over 750,000 visitors each year, placing immense pressure on its resources. The location of the sculptures promotes the recovery of the natural reefs as it relieves pressure on them by drawing visitors away to an alternative site. This reef is the second largest on the planet, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
The Museum has received worldwide acclaim and brings millions of dollars in advertising and tourism revenue to the region through its extensive media coverage.
The musuem is divided into three galleries called Salon Manchones, Salon Nizuc and Punta Sam. The first is eight meters deep and suitable for both divers and snorkelers and the second is four meters deep and only permitted for snorkeling.
MUSA’s third gallery is located at 3.5 meters depth at the reef known as Punta Sam, in Cancún.
Blessings, the sculpture by Cuban artist Elier Amado Gil is located at a sea floor area surrounded by sea grass, the perfect spot where sea turtles feed.
Visit their website for information, tours, how-to and more images. Don’t miss this video; it’s fantastic, with stunning imagery and gorgeous music!
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