Europe’s first underwater sculpture museum featuring over 300 life-sized figures has been inaugurated.

The Lanzarote attraction, Museo Atlantico, took almost three years to complete and has 12 sprawling underwater installations by artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

With the sculptures placed at 39 feet on the sea bed, divers can now tour the underwater museum off the coast of Bahia de Las Coloradas.

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Europe’s first underwater sculpture museum featuring over 300 life-sized figures has been inaugurated

With the sculptures placed at 39 feet on the sea bed, divers can tour the underwater museum off the coast of Bahia de Las Coloradas

The sculptures are created with pH neutral materials and have been designed to last for hundreds of years as an artificial reef for marine life to thrive on

The Lanzarote attraction, Museo Atlantico, took almost three years to complete and features 12 underwater installations by Jason deCaires Taylor

The sculptures are created with pH neutral materials and have been designed to last for hundreds of years as an artificial reef for marine life to thrive on.

They have also been created to raise awareness of the need for environmental conservation and to highlight marine ecology issues.

The project is the largest scale installation by British sculptor deCaires Taylor, whose first underwater sculpture park in Grenada, the West Indies, was named as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World in National Geographic magazine.

The only European underwater museum features figures modelled on the Guanches – members of the aboriginal cave-dwelling people who inhabited the Canary Islands before the Spanish conquest and deCaires Taylor also invited locals to model for the piece

The Raft of Lampedusa is a poignant structure echoing the huge movement of refugees across the sea to Europe and the frequent fatalities that occur

Intriguing highlights include a suited businessman in a children’s playground, a swing and sea saw and children paddling along in fishing boats (left). Pictured right, is a close up of The Raft of Lampedusa sculpture

The only European underwater museum features figures modelled on the Guanches – members of the aboriginal cave-dwelling people who inhabited the Canary Islands before the Spanish conquest – and deCaires Taylor also invited locals to model for the piece.

Known as the Human Gyre, the installation has over 200 human characters of varying ages and sizes.

Other intriguing highlights include a suited businessman in a children’s playground, a swing and sea saw and children paddling along in fishing boats.

One harrowing installation is The Raft of Lampedusa, which depicts the refugee crisis off the Italian island.

The underwater project has been designed to raise awareness of environmental conservation and marine ecology issues

Work in progress: The statues were carefully lowered into the water using chains and supports, ahead of the opening

Atlantic Museum has been designed by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor who has created similar sculptures on a smaller scale in Cancun, Mexico, and Grenada in the West Indies

The artist has previously described his work as a tribute to all whose ‘hopes and dreams remain at the bottom of the sea’. 

As well as the eerie figures, divers can also explore a 100-ton, 90ft-long wall and a botanical garden with flower sculptures.

A twisted cactus model is expected to act as a living station for octopuses, sea urchins and juvenile fish to enjoy.

 

  

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