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Underwater eco museum in Cannes, Source: J. deCaires Taylor

Discover the new underwater eco museum in Cannes

Discover the new underwater eco museum in Cannes

It comes with a mission: to restore underwater biodiversity

The long-awaited underwater eco-museum in the French Mediterranean is already a fact. Six statues by world-famous artist Jason deCaires Taylor were submerged underwater near the island of Sain Marguerite in Cannes this week. Much more than a tourist attraction for divers, the artwork is meant to play an important role in preserving and restoring biodiversity in the area as man-made reefs.

Artificial reefs bring real value for the environment

Initially set to open in 2020, the new eco museum was installed earlier this week between the Lérins Islands, off the coast of the French city of Cannes. Six art pieces by English underwater sculptor of world renown Jason deCaires Taylor were submerged and lowered until they reached the seabed so be seen by divers at 5 metres depth.

The statues, modelled after six residents of the city on the French Riviera, constitute a unique eco-museum for France and the Mediterranean. Eco, as the laborious effort that went into their making, means more than attracting tourists eager for a diving adventure and underwater photography.

It is expected that with time, the statues will turn into artificial reefs and give birth to corals and small fish. Just like naturally formed reefs, they will be promoting biodiversity while also raising public awareness of the important issue of protecting the Mediterranean. Also, the authorities point out, the construction of the eco museum led to the extension of a no-anchoring zone between the islands of Lérins, where it is located.

David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes said on the occasion “We are not just talking, we are in the sphere of concrete actions: these works will serve as a refuge for biodiversity. It is about the meeting between nature, our treasure, and culture, the specificity of the human.

Underwater sculptures are the fundament of the work of deCaires Taylor, who is responsible for over a thousand of them. They can be discovered at locations all over the world, pointing to the global problems that affect underwater biospheres.

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