The new Mediterranean theme park is underwater – in pictures
Despite a particularly difficult period for tourism, a new underwater park has opened at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. At Ayia Napa Underwater Sculpture Museum (MUSAN), visitors can visit an underwater forest, a world first.
Designed by eco-artist Jason deCaires Taylor, the new sculpture park aims to highlight the effects of climate change and overfishing by creating ideal conditions for marine life at varying depths. The sculptures were designed and made with materials that attract sea creatures and were placed at different levels, creating a suitable substrate for ocean life at all levels.
It is hoped that the underwater park will promote biodiversity. Director of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research Marina Argyro said: “I firmly believe that Jason’s 93 works of art will be a refuge for many sea creatures and contribute to the development of biodiversity in the region.
It took a long time for this project to come to fruition. The plans were first submitted to city council in 2014 – well before the Covid-19 – and the process was initiated with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, in 2017 and signed in 2019. The project cost money 1 million euros (nearly $ 1.2 million).
The park is located just off the seaside resort of Ayia Napa in southeastern Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean.
The sculptures are made of inert materials, with neutral pH, so as not to have a negative environmental impact. It is a sandy area, 200 meters from the coast of Ayia Napa and it is expected that over time the biodiversity of the area will be enriched, thanks to the museum.
Visitors can dive in the museum if they have certification and insurance, but it is also possible to swim with a mask and a snorkel.