The Museo Atlántico is the vision of British artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who has spent the last two years living on the island creating artworks for the submerged gallery.
The museum in Coloradas Bay, just off the coast of the town in Playa Blanca, in the southwest of Lanzarote. It has been created at a depth of between 12 and 15 meters on the ocean floor. The “tour” begins in an entrance and ends in an exit. It is formed by ten facilities that aspire to reflect the contemporaneity, making us question the use of natural resources. The site spans an area of 2,500 square metres.
About the Museum
The first artworks were submerged in February 2016 and almost a year later on January 10th, the museum holds its official inauguration.
The sculptures on display are human forms, some modelled after local residents, and are created to attract plant and animal life, representing the relationship between humans and nature.
“The island is going to show the world one of its most precious secrets – the bottom of our seas,” Lanzarote`s president Pedro San Ginés said when plans for the museum were announced some years ago.
The sculpture exhibits include a couple taking a selfie, meant for viewers to reflect on new technologies and themselves. Another, called The Raft of Lampedusa, makes a statement about the refugee crisis in reference to the Italian island in the Mediterranean where thousands have arrived.
Taylor said he wanted this exhibit to be a tribute to those who succeed, but also those whose “dreams and hopes remain at the bottom of the sea”.
How can I visit this Underwater Museum?
To visit the Under Water Museo Atántico, if you are not a certified free diver then it is necessary to have a diving certification. If you don´t currently have a diving certification then there is the option to do a PADI Diving Course or at least to do a PADI Discover Scuba Dive (DSD) prior to the visit so that you are familiar with the underwater world and you can enjoy the experience with full safety and comfort.
We will strongly recommend you to learn how to dive with CID Lanzarote, you will not just learn how to go underwater safely, but also get to know the best and professionals dive Instructors in Lanzarote.
If you are interested in diving in this amazing island this is the dive centre you are looking for.
We will strongly recommend you to take the initiative and to do it. As you will see in the pictures, you can be next to the statues and see all the details by yourself.
How is this helping the marine life?
While his art is aesthetically exceptional, the work of Jason deCaires Taylor also serves a more practical purpose.
The art installations have been created from high-density, PH-neutral concrete that doesn’t affect the marine ecosystem or local flora and fauna. No corrosive metals and materials were used.
Over time, his lifelike sculptures evolve into artificial reefs, encouraging the growth of coral and attracting marine life.
Once his sculptures are lowered into the sea at depths of 15-30 feet, Taylor grafts coral nubbins onto them. The mesmerizing contrast between organic and synthetic lifeforms reinforces the artist’s central theme, illustrating that human interaction with nature can be sustainable and symbiotic.
The project is designed to increase marine biomass and to act as a breeding site for local species in an area declared a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco.
The 2-year Museo Atlántico project has already shown benefits to the local marine ecosystem. The first portion, which was installed in February 2016, has already seen traffic from Angel Sharks, Barracuda, Sardines, Octopus, and Butterfly Stingrays in what was once a lifeless seabed.
It is not deCaires Taylor’s first aquatic venture. He has created similar works in both Cancun, Mexico and Grenada in the West Indies. The sculpture park in Grenada was the first of its kind in the world and has been listed as one of National Geographic’s Top 25 Wonders of the World.