USA Today reported on the popular Cancun underwater museum,which recently added 60 new sculptures to its collection. This attraction is easily one of the most unusual and popular in the region,opened in 2010 with the placement of hundreds of sculptures placed offshore,around 27 feet below the surface in the National Marine Park of Cancun.
Conceptualized by British sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor,the sculptures are meant to serve as an artificial reef in addition to a tourist attraction,providing surface areas for new coral growth and a habitat for a variety of other sea creatures. In addition,scuba divers and snorkelers are attracted to the museum,which could provide some relief to the nearby natural reefs.
Cancun real estate is Mexico’s top tourist destination,so it is not surprising that the museum attracts more than 750,000 annual visitors. The newest additions include works by Taylor titled “The Last Supper,” which is a table set for two that is complete with plates of half-eaten fish,apples and a centerpiece of hand grenades. The message of the piece is intended to be that over fishing the world’s oceans is threatening the supply of fish in many areas of the world.
According to USA Today,another new sculpture,titled “Urban Reef,” is comprised of a group of architectural structures set in a streetscape,while “Phoenix” is an ethereal sculpture of a woman with purple gorgonian fan coral acting as movable wings and is the first kinetic sculpture in the museum. Finally,“The Listener” is a sculpture of a figure that is created entirely from casts of actual human ears and is equipped with a special device that allows it to record the sounds of the reef.
Local tour companies in Cancun offer a variety of ways to experience the reef,including glass-bottomed boat rides,snorkeling and scuba diving trips.