The concept of underwater museums may not exactly be new, but we never really stop to think about how these museums first came to be. While many of them were probably propped up thanks to sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor – known for plopping concrete figures into several seas around the world – there is a brand new contemporary art museum literally coming to life as you read this.
Cue Museu Atlantico, which lies 12metres beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain. The museum will be opened to the public by the end of this month, with its first phase of sculptures having been completed by Taylor. It is due for completion by December 2016 and will comprise ten underwater galleries that will be added throughout the year, that will be accessible to snorkelers, divers and observers through glass bottom boats.
The concept behind Museu Atlantico is a continued effort to conserve marine life by creating a large-scale artificial reef. By incorporating installations and botanical sculpture gardens, the museum will reference Lanzarote’s status as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Currently, you will find a seires of concrete figures that represent desperate refugees, tourists taking selfies, and whimsical hybrids of people merged with the flora and fauna of Lanzarote. Designed to last for hundreds of years, the work will transform over time as they are slowly colonised by local marine life.
For more info, head to www.underwatersculpture.com
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