Cancun Underwater Museum's next wave

By Gay Nagle Myers
InsightThe Cancun Underwater Museum, located in the waters off Isla Mujeres, is about to launch the third phase of its development with 60 new sculptures by artist Jason de Caires Taylor.

The museum opened in November 2009 with the placement of 100 statues in the shallow waters of the Cancun National Marine Park, which had previously been damaged by storms.

Cancun Underwater MuseumThe artist planned the sculptures as artificial reefs with fire coral planted in the original sculptures. Marine life has slowly moved into the museum area, bringing life to “The Silent Evolution,” the name given to the first phase of sculptures.

The museum now contains 400 life-size human sculptures, many of which were cast from Cancun locals.

The newest additions will be submerged this summer, and include “Urban Reef,” a collection of architectural structures that will be assembled underwater to create a street or suburban complex, according to de Caires Taylor.

Another sculpture, called “The Last Supper,” depicts a dining table carved from a rock outcropping. The table is set with plates and cutlery featuring a large bowl filled with fruit and hand grenades as its centerpiece.

The museum, which can be viewed by snorkelers, scuba divers and tourists in glass-bottom boats, is Cancun’s most visited attraction, drawing more than 750,000 visitors a year and generating annual revenue of approximately $36 million, according to tourism officials.

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