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A visit to world’s largest underwater sculpture museum in Cancun

by amit.uniyal 27. March 2014 10:11

There are many museums in the world devoted to all types of subjects, but some of them are quite unique and intriguing. One such museum is Cancun Underwater Museum. It is the biggest underwater sculpture museum built so far in the world. To explore this museum you need to wear snorkel gear and dive under the ocean.

The work on this unique underwater sculpture museum started with the initiative of Aquaworld. The primary aim of this museum was to protect marine environment and help varieties of marine life flourish in the sea.

The underwater museum took shape after keen interest shown by Dr. Jaime Gonzalez Cano. He is the Director of National Park Costa Occidental Isla Mujeres, Punta Nizuc and Punta Cancun. The idea to establish the museum came after Dr. Cano browsed the cyberspace for themes and finally saw the study of a British underwater artist Jason DeCaires Taylor. President of the Nautical Association, Roberto Diaz, who is also a sculptor and ceramic artist, also joined Dr. Cano and Taylor, to begin work on this project in Cancun.

The underwater museum project started in November 2009 and 100 sculptures were placed in the first phase in Cancún National Marine Park’s shallow waters.  

British sculptor and ceramic artist Jason DeCaires Taylor came to Cancun especially for the project and put in 2 years of dedicated effort to finally create 403 full-size sculptures. Neutral clay was used to make these concrete sculptures, which were placed on ocean beds with the specific aim of promoting marine life and help coral reef to flourish.

The ‘Garden of Hope’, ‘Man on Fire’, and ‘Dream Collector’ were the first to be submerged in the museum. All these three figures depicted their own messages. Finally, a total of 400 sculptures were submersed in October 2010, and thus created the ‘Silent Evolution’. The life sized sculptures were based on people, local children from Cancun, a British newsman and a mother-to-be.

The Cancun Underwater Museum presently comprises of several ‘rooms’. Room One, which is situated on Manchones reef, is home to some prominent sculptures such as ‘The Silent Evolution’, ‘Archive of Lost Dreams’, ‘Man on Fire’, and ‘The Anthropocene’. The location of Room Two is on Punta Nizuc. Here various sculptures like ‘Accountability’, ‘The Gardner of Hope’, ‘La Musa del Oceano’, ‘Void’, ‘Inheritance’, and ‘Inertia’ are found.

The museum is also attracting a large number of local artists who are also making significant contributions here. The Cancun Underwater Museum has succeeded in creating a global curosity and attracting scores of tourists to Cancun. The museum has also been prominently featured by Discovery Channel in its popular program ‘Megastructures’. Even a renowned publication like National Geographic has also published about the museum.

The visitors desirous of visiting the Cancun Underwater Museum are offered dive trips regularly by Aquaworld. This is being provided to both beginner as well as certified divers. Additionally, snorkeling expeditions are also offered for visiting the Punta Nizuc sculptures.

The Cancun Underwater Museum has started fulfilling its objectives and purpose for it was essentially established. The Angel Fish has started to return to the area it had previously left for unknown reasons. The return of this species of fish is fascinating indeed. The underwater museum surely makes an interesting visit.

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