Cancun, Mexico "“ December 2nd, 2010 — The Cancun Underwater Museum officially opened its doors on November 26, 2010 during the United Nations' Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, completing the exhibition titledÂ "The Silent Evolution" by artist Jason deCaires Taylor. With 400 life-size sculptures submerged, this completed phase two of the world's largest underwater museum, located in the beautiful waters ofÂ Cancun.
The National Park, located in Isla Mujeres Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc welcomes approximately 750,000 tourists a year and is now home to this impressive sculpture museum. Just days after almost all the sculptures were submerged, the welcoming they received by Mother Nature was amazing, with hundreds of swarming Gray Angel fish, that up until now, were rarely seen around the Manchones area.
The main gallery is formed by 400 life-size figures, based on real people. Its building required 18 months of hard work, 120 tons of cement, 400 kg of silicone, 3,800 glass fiber installments and more than 120 submarine work hours, as well as effort and dedication from a committed team with a dream, that began almost two years ago.
The technique, developed by the sculptor, Taylor, allows the creation of life-size figures that keep the models' original gestures and positions. The sinking process to more than 10 meters of depth consists on placing the sculptures over a 2 tons base, which will be positioned safely on rocky surfaces to avoid any damage caused by waves. The Underwater Museum can be appreciated not only from the bottom of the sea; all of the pieces are positioned in a way that looks like a human eye when seen from the air.
The first sinking took place on November 14th, 2009. In the project's first phase and under the supervision of the renowned artist and sub-aquatic sculpture Jason deCairesÂ Taylor, three sculptures were submerged: "Coleccionista de SueÃ±os" (Dream Collector), "Hombre en llamas" (Man on Fire) and "La Jardinera de la Esperanza" (The Gardener of Hope). TheÂ sculptures where placed near the natural reefs and close to marine life habitats in order to create a natural ecosystem that helps maintain corals and reefs in the best conditions.
The project is backed byÂ Cancun's Ministry of Environment and its Nautical Association and has required an investment of more than $350,000 USD, in order to allow the natural reefs that surround the sculptures, to remain untouched. That is why thisÂ MarineÂ ParkÂ was up for the challenge and developed a way to deviate tourists from the natural habitats, through coral reefs, without having to lose its visitors and the $36 million dollars that they represent in annual income.
It is important to point out that due to the success of this great project, sculptor and artist Jason deCairesÂ Taylor, has accepted the position as the museum's artistic director.
The cultural and environmental importance of the project make theÂ UnderwaterÂ MuseumÂ a once in a lifetime experience. In collaboration with marine biologists and other experts from the National Marine Park and Artificial Reefs, a company based in the USA, the sculptures have been designed to attract coral, but have also been immersed and positioned in a certain way so that they contribute to the further development of different coral species.
These magnificent sculptures will be available for tourists and visitors that wish to admire the originality, beauty and uniqueness of these works of art, while snorkeling or diving in the sub aquatic museum. Entrance to the museum is free, but it is highly recommended that visitors of the museum utilize an appropriate tour operator with trained professionals to fully enjoy this experience.
More information at: http://www.underwatersculpture.com
Watch the official video with the 400 submerged sculptures at:
CancunÂ is located in the northern part of the southeastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It isÂ Mexico's number one tourist destination and is known all over the world for its spectacular beaches, unique beauty and breathtaking turquoise waters.
Cancun's shoreline recently underwent a $71 Million Dollar makeover that featured 1.3 billion gallons of sand to renovate the hotel zone's seashore.Â The most popular tourism destination inÂ MexicoÂ andÂ Latin AmericaÂ has also added to its sun, beach, and nightlife by creating a unique five-day route that will offer visitors a chance to experience adventure and interaction with nature. Cancun and the Treasures of the Caribbean invite travelers to discover the vast natural, cultural and gastronomical cultures of Puerto Morelos, and the four islands of the Mexican Caribbean: Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Contoy andÂ Cozumel.Â CancunÂ is a multifaceted destination that combines nature, historical Mayan Culture, glamour, luxury and world-class tourism with the seduction for adventure, the passion for paradisiacal nature and the enchantment of gastronomical magic.
For more information, visit the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau website at:Â www.cancun.travel. Follow us on Twitter @CancunCVB, "LIKE" us on Facebook page atÂ http://www.facebook.com/cancuncvb, browse through our videos on YouTube at:Â http://www.youtube.com/user/cancuntravel and share your pictures of Cancun on our Flickr site at:Â http://www.flickr.com/photos/22572360@N07/.