An Underwater Art Museum Opens in the Atlantic Ocean

  • Taylor uses human sculptures as a way of generating social awareness about the loss of ecosystems. (Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor)

    Taylor uses human sculptures as a way of generating social awareness about the loss of ecosystems. (Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor)

  • The Raft of Lampedusa portrays 13 refugees on a sculpted boat.  (Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor)

    The Raft of Lampedusa portrays 13 refugees on a sculpted boat. (Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor)

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The first underwater museum in the Atlantic Ocean, Museo Antlatico, has just opened off the coast of Lanzarote, part of Spain’s Canary Islands, after the installation of a set of sculptures by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor was completed this month. As much an object of fascination for scuba divers and snorklers as they are the artist’s commentary on human’s relationship with the environment and climate change, the exhibition, which took two years to complete, comprises life-size stone figures that are also designed to increase marine biomass by acting as a breeding site for species in an area declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Museo Antlatico follows Taylor’s previous underwater sculpture park in the Grenada, which he created in 2006, and the Museo Subacuático de Arte in 2009, where over 500 sculptures wre submerged off the coast of Cancún in Mexico. In Lanzarote, his latest works can be found submerged at the depths of 10 to 12 meters, consisting sculptures with compelling messages. One work, titled The Raft of Lampedusa, shows 13 refugees sitting on a sculpted boat, inspired by the 1818 painting The Raft of Medusa by Géricault, while another, titled The Photographers, consist of a set of life-size human sculptures holding a camera to their face, snapping photos of their surrounding. Funded by the local government of Lanzarote, officials have said two percent of revenue from the site will be allocated to research and conservation efforts dedicated to the region’s marine life.

For more information, visit Museo Antlatico.

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