A unique project for Cyprus and the Mediterranean in general, the first Underwater Museum was presented by the Municipality of Ayia Napa this Friday, 14th June at the POED room in Nicosia, in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Mr. Kadis, the Mayor of Ayia Napa, Mr. Karousos and the Officer of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, Mr. Pagiatas.
The Underwater Museum that will be created by the world-famous British artist Jayson DeCaires Taylor is one more step to the completion of the vision of Ayia Napa and its Mayor, Mr. Karouros to turn Ayia Napa to the best and most cosmopolitan tourist resort in the Mediterranean until 2030.
The museum in Ayia Napa will feature around 70 sculptures in a depth of 10 m.
The project was presented on June 14 by the the artist himself, the Ayia Napa mayor, the Minister of Agriculture, the Fisheries department and the coordinator of the project Giorgos Payiatas.
DeCaires Taylor has also created Europe’s first underwater museum, the Museo Atlántico Lanzarote: Biosfera, Arte y Naturaleza, in the Canaries Islands, which is made of sculptures of refugees – portrayed as shipwrecked people – trying to reach Europe.
The Underwater Museum will be created at the Pernera beach and it will be the first underwater sculpture Museum in the Mediterranean. In an underwater space 10m deep, the British artist will create over 70 underwater statues and will prepare dozens of organic trees and underwater plants, in order to create the first underwater forest in the world!
During the presentation of the project, the Mayor of Ayia Napa, Mr. Karousos stated: “Ayia Napa has stated its vision to become until 2030, the best and most cosmopolitan tourist resort in the Mediterranean. Part of our efforts to upgrade our tourism product is the rebranding of Ayia Napa with the project Always Ayia Napa that has started paying dividends and won awards in Cyprus and abroad. Our aim is to give a complete tourism experience and we wish that each visitor gets enough positive memories and experience so he can carry a bit of Ayia Napa with him, back at his home. That’s why we started turning our city to a city full of experiences, of landmarks, parks and museums.
The Underwater Museum was a project that we started inquiring about since 2013, aiming to improve our artificial reef, to increase its biodiversity and also create a unique underwater landmark that will attract diving tourism and promote it globally. It’s the first underwater museum in the Mediterranean! We estimate that the Museum will attract more than 50,000 visitors annually for the whole year, as the temperature of our waters make it possible”.
The Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Mr. Kadis stated: “I am very glad to be present at the Press Conference to present the first underwater sculpture museum in the Mediterranean, which will be created in Ayia Napa by the artist, Jason DeCaires Taylor. The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment is supporting the initiative for this project that will contribute significantly to the efforts of protecting the marine environment and will further enhance the environmental sensibilities in our country. The visitors of the protected marine artificial reefs will enjoy the artistical interventions that aim to upgrade the marine life, as they will also be artificial reefs”.
What sets the artist Jayson Taylor apart is not only his unique sculptures, but also his sensibilities about the downgrade of marine environment, over-fishing and the destruction of the coral reefs, that are global phenomena. Looking at the works that the artist has completed in seven different regions of the world, it is important that for him, art is a strong medium to communicate important environmental and social messages”.
On behalf of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, it was announced that: “The Department of Fisheries and Marine Research that initiated the contacts with the artist since August 2017, wishes to express its satisfaction on the start of the cooperation with the artist and the Municipality of Ayia Napa. The Department considers that this project will help establish strong foundations to improve the perception of our society on the value and beauty of marine biodiversity, as well as the problems that marine environment faces, while it is certain the sensibility on marine environment will reach high levels. The Department with the necessary staff and its boats will work closely together with the artist and the Municipality and will coordinate all the stakeholders to bring this project to a successful completion. The Department’s role will be even more important after the project is delivered, as it will handle its management, with a new approach and guidelines that will be prepared and implemented”.
Concluding, the British artist Jayson DeCaires Taylor added: “The creative objective is to create a seamless link between the land and the ocean, combining two disparate wonders, one created by man and one designed by nature. To develop a portal to the underwater realm that offers visitors ephemeral encounters with the natural beauty beneath the water’s surface, delivering another worldly experience that illustrates the connectivity of man with nature, a hybrid organic form in harmony with its surroundings. The sculptural installations aim to enhance the story of Ayia Napa’s as a dynamic, modern, cultural resort at the forefront of conservation and eco-tourism, the sculptures will explore the rich cultural and natural heritage of the region, highlighting the exceptional natural beauty found beneath the ocean surface whilst giving sea life the opportunity to flourish creating an outstanding example of successful human interaction with the environment.”
In a journalist’s question, the Director of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research Mrs Marina Argyrou answered that the appropriate legal framework would create for the underwater visual museum and the museum will treat with respect as any form of art is dealt.
The event about the first Underwater Museum of the Mediterranean was presented by Maniana Kalogeraki in front of a multitude of journalists and interested parties on this unique project.