Cancun’s Isla Mujeres Marine Park was (and is) one of the most visited stretches of water in the world, with over 750,000 visitors every year that threatened the delicate balance of Cancun’s extraordinary coral reefs.
Then, in 2009, Musa (Museo de Arte Subacuático) project took shape and gave birth to one of the most amazing places in the world, receiving praise even from Forbes: an underwater museum able to combine art, nature, tourism.
More than 400 statues (now 487) were laid on the seabed: a weight of over 200 tons distributed over a 420sq area, which would attract tourists just outside the reef, giving relief to it.
Statues represent life-size human being, intent on carrying out daily activities, solitary or in groups, dreamy and contemplative. Made of a special material that favourites the establishment and proliferation of corals, statues are gradually colonized by marine flora and this makes an artistic work-in-progress of the artificial complex that will never be equal to itself: no tourist could ever say to have seen the same representation or the same colors in different seasons.
Five artists have created the sculptures positioned at MUSA, even though the vast majority of them was carried out by the hands of Jason de Caires Taylor, the only English of the group who is also an enthusiastic naturalist and appreciated underwater photographer.
In 2006, Taylor had already made a submarine sculpture park in the Caribbean Sea, the Molinere, but with the Muse the idea of joining art, tourism and environmental awareness has reached its peak.
There are several ways to visit this wonderful place: snorkeling, diving (during day or by night) or while sitting on a boat with transparent bottom that lets you see everything top-bottom.
A project, sometimes even criticized, realized by the Director of the National Marine Park, Jaime Gonzalez Cano, and Roberto Díaz Abraham, President of Cancun Nautical Association, which will surely go down in history for such an ambitious and amazing project.
PHOTO CREDITS: MUSA CANCUN
(Click on a photo to open the full gallery)