Replicas of the Underwater Museum’s artwork are on display at a new visitors center. // © 2013 Jason de Caires Taylor
The Cancun Underwater Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Cancun. The museum features evocative underwater sculptures, created by Jason de Caires Taylor, that are accessible via snorkeling or scuba excursions. The Cancun Underwater Museum recently opened a new visitors center that features replicas of the museum’s 26 most popular sculptures to accommodate visitors who are not aquatically inclined.
The visitors center is located at Kukulkan Plaza in Cancun’s hotel zone, making it easily accessible. The center exhibits the step-by-step process by which Jason de Caires Taylor created his art and helps promote ecological preservation.
Since its beginning, the Cancun Underwater Museum has helped facilitate the preservation of natural coral reefs by doubling as a home for fish and other underwater organisms. The Cancun Underwater Museum welcomes over 87,000 tourists a year and helps conserve Cancun’s ecosystems by educating visitors about its delicate natural reefs. A second Underwater Museum Visitors Center in Isla Mujeres is in the works and will showcase more of Taylor’s original pieces.
Taylor recently submerged 11 new sculptures, which brings the total number of underwater sculptures to 500. The additional pieces are on display in “The Silent Evolution” gallery, where the first phase of sculptures was installed in 2010. Since then, the surrounding marine life has slowly migrated into the museum area, flourishing around the sculptures and giving life to display.
The new pieces use a revolutionary form of stainless steel framework. Each statue is made with materials that are safe for marine life and encourage the formation of coral reefs. The sculptures range from life-size human figures, many of which were cast from Cancun locals, to a life-size VW Beetle that was specially designed to provide homes for lobsters.