Musa - the Underwater Museum of Art

 

THE ART OF CONSERVATION

In 2009 a monumental underwater contemporary museum of art called MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) was formed in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc. This project was founded by Roberto Díaz Abraham, former President of the Cancun Nautical Association and Jaime González Cano, Director of the National Marine Park. To begin this unique museum, they hired English sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor.

Today, MUSA consists of over 500 permanent life-sized and monumental sculptures and is one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world. The Museum aims to demonstrate the interaction between art and environmental science and form part of a complex reef structure for marine life to colonize and inhabit whilst increasing biomass on a grand scale. All of the sculptures are fixed to the seabed and made from specialised materials used to promote coral life. The total installations occupy an area of over 420sq meters of barren substrate and weighing in at over 200 tons.

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VISITING MUSA IN CANCUN OR ISLA MUJERES

The Cancun-Isla Mujeres Marine Park is one of the most visited stretches of water in the world with over 750,000 visitors each year, placing immense pressure on its resources. The location of the sculptures promotes the recovery of the natural reefs as it relieves pressure on them by drawing visitors away to an alternative site. Over the past few years the Museum has also received worldwide acclaim and generated millions of dollars in advertising to the region through its extensive media coverage. The layout is divided into two galleries called Salon Manchones and Salon Nizuc. The first is eight meters deep and suitable for both divers and snorkelers and the second four meters deep and only permitted for snorkelling.

Read this and more in the WONDER issue