The Museo Subacuatico de Arte Project
The Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA) Project created by Jason de Caires Taylor is art that does good, literally. The images you see above and below are not photoshoped, they are as real as could be. The project consists of 400 statues installed on the seabed, all of the statues are cast from real people. The goal is to ease pressure on the nearby natural reefs which are struggling to deal with the half a million water-going tourists who flock to the area every year, in addition the new sculptures will produce a coral reef system and attract a variety of aquatic creatures to the Cancun and Isla Mujeres National Marine Park.
“The main objective is to discharge quite a lot of the tourists who visit Cancun. Over 750,000 people come here every year to visit the marine park and that puts a huge pressure on the natural reef. The idea was to take some of these people away from the natural reefs and obviously minimise their impact on them, so we wanted to draw them to an area that was originally barren without much sea life. We want it to be very accessible to snorkelers and divers and we wanted it to be accessible from Cancun, nearby Isla Mujeres and different parts of the surrounding community.” – Jason de Caires Taylor
Jason claims the statues are meant to represent a ‘cross-section of society’ with the casts made from local Mexican people.The sculptures have been made from a special type of cement which is 10 times harder than the normal kind and has a neutral PH, which is favourable to corals.
The statues are reinforced by rigid fibreglass with similar properties to rock so they remain in place. Anchored to the rocky sea bed 10 metres below the surface using a special drill, fused together and weighing over 120 tons in total, it is hoped the new reef can even weather out hurricanes and storms that regularly hit the area.