In Cyprus, an artful space has surfaced under water. It’s the Museum of Underwater Sculpture of Ayia Napa (Musan), which is the Middle Eastern country’s latest destination with great appeal for both art and diving enthusiasts.
Located in the resort town of Ayia Napa in a new marine-protected area in Pernera on the south-east coast of Cyprus, the museum houses 130 sculptures that will serve as artificial coral reefs and eventually become part of an underwater forest, according to The National.
The art collection features an array of figurative and botanical works, with more than 90 sculptures by British artist Jason Decaires Taylor, who is known for his site-specific installations that turn into artificial coral reefs. His works, which feature a specific type of cement that encourages the growth of coral reef, are spread across underwater ecosystems around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
The artworks, which are made of sea materials, including stones, rocks and shells, have been installed down to about 10 meters and span more than 167 meters of sand, and are safe for marine life. The idea behind the initiative is to enrich the biodiversity of the area and to allow the sculptures to turn into coral reefs, which protect coastlines from storms and erosion, and are a great source of food and medicines.
Visitors can dive and snorkel in the area for free with prior reservation. Be sure to visit this underwater forest on your next visit to the country that’s beloved as the jewel of the Mediterranean.
Images via @Jasondecairestaylor on Instagram.