Forget land-bound museums. Cyprus is taking things to the next level (or, shall we say, below sea level) by offering travellers the chance to check out a few epic statues beneath the ocean’s surface. By
Here’s a look at the underwater museum in Cyprus
In August 2021, the Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa (MUSAN) opened to the public, which features the work of sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. It is billed as the first underwater museum in the Mediterranean Sea.
The museum — located 200 meters off the coast of Aiya Napa, a southeastern Cyprus resort town — is meant to resemble an underground forest and even has a few sculptures of children playing alongside sculptures of mystical characters.
“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,” reads the museum’s website. “To develop a portal to the underwater realm that offers visitors ephemeral encounters with the natural beauty beneath the water’s surface, delivering an otherworldly experience that illustrates the connectivity of man with nature, a hybrid organic form in harmony with its surroundings.”
According to the museum, the work also aims to bring attention to conservation and actively act as a new ecosystem for aquatic life to thrive. Over time, My Modern Met reported, the hope is that each sculpture will be covered in marine biomass, making each piece even more beautiful.
“A collection of submarine figurative sculptures dispersed amongst a series of sculpted organic trees and subterranean plants will create the World’s first underwater forest. A symbol to enhance the story of Ayia Napa’s newly created Marine Protected Zone, whilst acknowledging the deforestation practices of the past,” the museum’s website explains. “The narrative questions if the next generation will reinterpret the symbiotic relationship between mankind and nature to provide a better balance in favour of nurturing fragile ecosystems, highlighting how positive human intervention in the oceans can shape a more sustainable and productive future.”
Guests are welcome to visit the museum on a scuba diving or snorkelling excursion. To visit, guests must make a reservation through one of the nearby registered diving schools. Though there is no fee to visit the museum, local diving schools will each charge their own usage fees. Learn more about the museum and plan your visit here.