Cyprus opens haunting new underwater sculpture park to attract diving tourists

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Cyprus’ latest tourist attraction, the Museum of Underwater Sculpture of Ayia Napa (Musan), features a collection of 130 sculptures in a newly created Marine Protected Area.

The works at the museum, located in the resort town of Ayia Napa, range from botanical to figurative, including more than 90 sculptures by Jason deCaires Taylor, a British artist known for his site-specific creations that turn into artificial coral reefs.

Photograph: Costas Constantinou/Musan.

With more than 1,000 sculptures installed around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef, deCaires Taylor specifically works with a type of cement that enables coral growth.

The site of the museum is in a marine protected area in Pernera, on the south-eastern coast of Cyprus and was selected specifically in order to emphasise its protected status. The works are installed all the way down to about 10 metres and spread out across more than 167 metres of sand.

Photographs: Jason deCaires Taylor/Musan.

Musan’s sculptures are made of sea materials, including stones, rocks and shells, and are meant to live harmoniously among the marine life. The museum has stated its intent to enrich the biodiversity of the area to allow the sculptures to turn into coral reefs and eventually an “underwater forest.”

Tourism is also a goal for the Cyprus government, which has backed the establishment of the museum. In 2014, the Ayia Napa municipal council proposed the idea and work began on Musan three years later. According to the Cyprus Mail, the cost of the museum has reached €1 million.

Visitors can dive or snorkel Musan for free, although reservations must be made ahead of time. The surrounding area will also have diving centres and schools for visitors.

Source: The National News.

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