The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced the opening of the Cancun Underwater Museum Visitors Center, which showcases 26 replicas of the museum's most famous underwater sculptures. The center, located in Cancun's Kulkulkan Plaza, features a step-by-step process of how, and why, MUSA artist Jason de Caires Taylor creates these life-sized sculptures. The submerged pieces are made of pH neutral clay, which promotes the growth of coral reef and marine life. This month, Taylor submerged 11 new sculptures, increasing the total of underwater art to 500.
The Cancun Underwater Museum project began in November 2009, and the goal of the art installation was to give Cancun's reef areas a much-needed break to recuperate from hurricane and tourist damage. The total installation occupies an area of over 1,615 square meters and weighs over 120 tons. There are plans to create another visitors center in Isla Mujeres to showcase more of Taylor's original sculptures and the museum's preservation efforts.
Read the full text of the press release below:
The Cancun Underwater Museum Opens Visitors Center
The Museum Will Install its 500th Sculpture this Month
Cancun, Mexico (September 17, 2013) – The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to announce the newly opened Cancun Underwater Museum Visitors Center, showcasing replicas of 26 of the Cancun Underwater Museum’s (MUSA) most popular underwater sculptures. MUSA artist Jason de Caires Taylor will also submerge 11 new sculptures today bringing the total of underwater art to 500.
The additional pieces will be submerged in “The Silent Evolution” gallery – the first phase of sculptures submerged in 2010. According to Taylor, “the new pieces use a revolutionary form of stainless steel framework and will rely on live planted corals to form the narrative and structure of the works.” Two of the new sculptures include, “The Glass Ceiling” and a new “Man on Fire” piece.
Inaugurated on September 7, the visitors center features a step by step process of how and why eco-sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor created his renowned art. Roberto Diaz Abraham, MUSA President, has high hopes for the visitors center and believes it will be as popular as the museum itself, which welcomes over 87,000 tourists a year. The Visitors Center is located at Kukulkan Plaza in the destination’s famous hotel zone, making it easily accessible to Cancun visitors. Guests who explore the underwater museum can enhance their experience by visiting the center, which can also be an alternative for sea-wary travelers to use should they wish to view Taylor’s art without having to set foot in the ocean.
There are plans for another visitors center in Isla Mujeres that will showcase original pieces by Taylor and will serve as a venue for visitors to appreciate the museum for not only its art, but its ecological and preservation efforts as well.
Since 2010, the artist has submerged sculptures to the bottom of the ocean, where marine life has slowly moved into the museum area, bringing life to “The Silent Evolution.” With everything from life-size human sculptures, many of which were cast from Cancun locals, to a full VW Beetle that was especially designed for lobsters to make their home inside the vehicle, each statue is made with materials that are safe for marine life and encourage the formation of a coral reef.
Since its beginning, the Cancun Underwater Museum was created to facilitate the preservation of natural coral reefs by doubling as a home for fish and other underwater organisms, drawing visitors away from Cancun’s delicate natural reefs.