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The National Park, located in Isla Mujeres Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc, Mexico, has recently submerged 400 sculptures, completing the second phase of the park’s massive Cancun Underwater Museum project. The project was founded by Jaime Gonzalez of the National Park, Roberto Diaz of Cancun’s Nautical Association and artist Jason deCaires Taylor.
The first sinking of sculptures took place on Nov. 14, 2009. In the project’s first phase, three sculptures were submerged (“Dream Collector,” “Man on Fire” and “The Gardener of Hope”) under the supervision of deCaires Taylor, the sculpture garden’s creator. The project required 120 tons of cement and more than 120 hours of submarine work. The sculpture garden, named “The Silent Evolution,” depicts the history of the region from the ancient Mayas to the modern day. Once the next phase is finished, other artists will be invited to show their own sculptures and contribute to the sub aquatic museum.
The sculpture garden project is backed by Cancun’s Ministry of Environment and its Nautical Association and has required an investment of more than $350,000 in order to allow the natural reefs that surround the sculptures to remain untouched. In collaboration with marine biologists and experts from U.S.-based Artificial Reefs, the sculptures were strategically placed near natural reefs and close to marine life habitats in order to attract coral and contribute to the development of different coral species.
The Cancun Underwater Museum officially opened on Nov. 27, and tour operator Aqua World arranges snorkel and scuba diving excursions to the area. Pricing varies.
Aqua World www.aquaworld.com.mx
Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau www.cancun.travel
The Cancun Underwater Museum at the National Park does not have its own website, but there is a website dedicated to the sculpture garden and other work of the sculpture garden’s creator, Jason deCaires Taylor.www.underwatersculpture.com