A SPANISH island plans to open up Europe’s first underwater museum by displaying the stunning sculptures of a British artist.
Internationally acclaimed sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has signed a contract with the government of Lanzarote to arrange for his spectacular work to be placed on the sea bed off Las Coloradas Beach near Playa Blanca, Lanzarotte.
His cement artworks – described by Taylor as “underwater living installations” – are designed to act as artificial reefs, attracting marine life and colonies of sea creatures. For divers and tourists, the sight of groups of statues at the bottom of the sea gives an almost eerie, mystical glimpse into another world; you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve stumbled across the remains of the citizens of the lost city of Atlantis.
Called the Museo Atlantico, the Lanzarote project will be a permanent installation and will echo similar projects by deCaires Taylor in Mexico and Grenada. However, at a cost of €700,000, there has been some disapproval of the planned project by locals, who argue that the money could be spent on more pressing matters such as healthcare.
The projected date for the opening of Lanzarote’s Museo Atlantico is the end of 2016, and 2 per cent of revenues taken by the museum will go towards local ecological research. The British artist’s work has featured in numerous prestigious international magazines such as National Geographic, Vogue and Lonely Planet, and one of his underwater sculptures is the cover photo for Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder’s album, Ukulele Songs.