The Museo Subacuático de Arte takes things to a whole new level.
- The Museo Subacuático de Arte is a museum of sculptures that can be found underwater, in the Mexican waters around the city of Cancun; the island Isla Mujeres; and the resort area Punta Nizuc; between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
- The ‘Museo Subacuático de Arte’, literally means ‘Museum of Underwater Art’, and it is also known by the name ‘Cancun Underwater Museum’, while the acronym ‘MUSA’ is also used in reference to the museum.
- More than 500 statues and sculptures populate the Museo Subacuático de Arte across two areas, the first area or ‘gallery’, as it is called, being Salon Manchones, featuring more than 470 statues at a depth of 8 metres (26 feet), and the second named Salon Nizuc with more than 20, at a depth of 4 metres (13 feet).
- The Museo Subacuático de Arte was created with the intent to draw visitors away from the natural reefs nearby, that were suffering damage from tourism, to the artificial reefs formed in the museum; and it now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
- The shallow gallery area of the Museo Subacuático de Arte can be seen through a glass-bottom boat tour or snorkeling, while the deeper area can be viewed by scuba diving.
An Exhibit of the Museo Subacuático de Arte
Image courtesy of snackariah/Flickr
- The Museo Subacuático de Arte project was originally formed and coordinated by Jaime González Cano, the marine park director; Roberto Díaz Abraham, the Cancun Nautical Association President; and Jason deCaires Taylor, a sculptor from Britain.
- Six different sculptors have contributed to the Museo Subacuático de Arte gallery, with the vast majority of pieces created by Jason deClaires Taylor; and there are replicas of some of the sculptures in a nearby visitors centre that is dedicated to the museum.
- The sculptures of the Museo Subacuático de Arte are made with marine-friendly concrete, and originally had a combined weight of 181 tonnes (200 tons), and in 2015, they utilised a space greater than 420 square metres (4521 feet).
- Due to the Museo Subacuático de Arte being located in the protected area of the National Marine Park of Cancun, a permit was required to sink sculptures in the water.
- Exhibits of the Museo Subacuático de Arte began arriving in 2009, with the most recent sculpture being placed in 2013, though it is possible that many more will be added in the future, as the permit allows them to place up to 10,000 sculptures, though large amounts of funding is required to add more to the museum.