Opening of the Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa (MUSAN) in Cyprus

Jason deCaires Taylor,

Jason deCaires Taylor,

Ayia Napa, Cyprus,


Landscaping, Exhibition,

A few days ago, the Museum of Underwater Sculpture (MUSAN) opened in Cyprus, featuring the works of artist Jason deCaires Taylor, one of the most famous representatives of the eco-art movement. The creation of MUSAN resulted from the joint effort of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, the municipality of Ayia Napa, and the Cypriot Ministry of Tourism.

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Opening of the Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa (MUSAN) in Cyprus Jason deCaires Taylor is an artist and activist who has been using the medium of art to bring our attention to the climate crisis for many years. He focuses in particular on the marine environment. From overfishing to other human interventions, his aim is, through his work, to create ideal conditions for the development of marine life at all levels. He does this with his statues, as we saw a few months ago in Cannes, which on the one hand refer to local history and on the other create new habitats for marine fauna and flora.
The latest of his interventions also concerns the Mediterranean. This time the island of Cyprus, politically disputed between Greece and Turkey but nevertheless a place of great naturalistic fascination.
The new Museum of Underwater Sculpture (MUSAN) has been built at Pernera beach in Ayia Napa, a well-known Cypriot tourist resort. The first proposal for this marine landmark dates back to 2014, with construction starting in 2019 and opening on 31 July 2021. Here, visitors can visit an underwater forest, the first of its kind. There are 93 works of art by Jason deCaires Taylor, inspired by nature and man. As usual, the British artist designed and created his sculptures with materials that attract marine life, i.e., inert materials with a neutral pH that don't affect the underwater environment. The museum is located in a sandy area, 200 metres off the coast of Ayia Napa. It is expected that the area's biodiversity will be enriched over time, thanks to the museum. The works are placed at different depths, creating a suitable substrate for marine life at all levels. In response to Cyprus' cultural heritage, the figurative sculptures within the museum reflect a magical, mystical, and otherworldly style, combining traditional sculptural formations with contemporary design. The configuration of the sculptures inside the museum follows the topography of the seabed south of Pernera beach.
Not a diver? That's okay because MUSAN is designed so that not only divers but also swimmers with masks and snorkels can access the wonders on offer. Entering the underwater forest from the shore, visitors can swim through the work of art, absorbing the natural beauty around them and have a truly unique experience. Stretching one hundred and seventy metres from the entrance to the exit, the museum offers both divers and snorkellers an hour-long experience.
The whole project is an aquatic journey that investigates the relationship between man and nature. As is his habit, Jason deCaires Taylor uses his knowledge and skills as a sculptor, marine conservator, underwater photographer, and diving instructor to create unique works of art that respond to where they are placed and enhance marine life.

Christiane Bürklein

Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa (MUSAN)
Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Sculptures: Jason deCaires Taylor
More information: http://www.musan.com.cy/
Images: Jason deCaires Taylor