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Napa’s plans for underwater museum being presented on Friday

One of the projects by Jason deCaires Taylor

Ayia Napa’s plan to have the first underwater museum in the Mediterranean is going ahead, the municipality said on Wednesday.

The museum will be created by world-renowned artist Jason deCaires Taylor. The municipality said the underwater museum would be created off Pernera beach and would be the first such venue in the Med.

The idea was first mooted in 2014 but is now going ahead.

The museum will be ten metres underwater. “The British artist will create over 70 statues that will stand among dozens of crafted organic trees and underwater plants to create the first underwater forest in the world,” said the municipality, which did not say how much the project would ultimately cost.

It is part of a number of projects approved for the development of Ayia Napa and “is expected to become a global point of interest”, it added.

The project will be presented by Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis and Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannis Karousos, along with the British artist on Friday in Nicosia.

According to the announcement, the British artist “has since the late 1990s explored on a systematic basis the interaction between art, the protection of the marine environment and society”.

In 2006 he created the first underwater sculpture park in the world off the coast of Grenada in the West Indies and his works have been featured by National Geographic’s Top 25 Wonders of the World.

Taylor was born in 1974 to an English father and Guyanese mother.

His permanent site-specific works span several continents and predominately explore submerged and tidal marine environments. His multi-disciplinarily sculptural works explore modern themes of conservation and environmental activism; Over the past 10 years Taylor has created several large-scale underwater “Museums” and “Sculpture Parks”, with collections of over 850 life-size public works. Other major projects include Museo Atlantico (2016), a collection over 300 submerged sculptures and architectural forms in Lanzarote, Spain, the first of its kind in European waters. The Rising Tide (2016 Thames London) and Ocean Atlas a monumental 60-ton single sculpture located in the Bahamas.

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