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Image: news.com.au

“Vicissitudes” from Jason deCaires Taylor’s Grenada, West Indies project

When picturing Cancun, visitors to Mexico will think of beach life, water sports and maybe spring break; not necessarily environmental protection and the area’s underwater beauty. But in fact, both go hand-in-hand: the new Subaquatic Sculpture Museum aims at drawing visitors to the world’s largest underwater museum, while at the same time keeping them away from existing coral reefs.


Image: Jason deCaires Taylor

One of the sculptures, “Archive of Lost Dreams” from back (left) and front.

The underwater museum is still a work in progress, set to open to the public not before 2011. However, four sculptures were already submerged on November 19 in the Caribbean waters, a mere 1% of the 400 that are planned. Snorkelers and scuba divers already got a preview of the underwater museum that will be the world’s largest once finished.

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Image: Jason deCaires Taylor

A sculpture being hoisted down just a few weeks earlier.

The idea is for the sculptures – all made of pH-neutral concrete – to attract algae and marine life and therefore soon take on a life of their own, giving the local ecosystem a boost. The existing coral reef in Quintana Roo’s West Coast National Park where the museum will be situated has suffered damage from recent hurricanes and human activity: Inexperienced divers, for example, who break corals by walking on them or swimming too close to them and accidentally hitting them with a fin or oxygen tank.

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