Ayia Napa has the world’s first underwater forest. In fact, it is the first museum with sculptures on the bottom of the sea – MUSAN – Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa.
And because it’s underwater, we can only get there by swimming or, most certainly, by boat with those who do scuba diving in the area.
The one who brought this “madness” to life is the British artist Jason deCaires Taylor. The whole project, from idea to realization, took about 3 years and in the end resulted in 250 tons of marine life-friendly concrete and metal art.
In the end the goal was to create a new ecosystem that would attract people who would finally pay more attention to nature, apart from attracting tourists, naturally .
What will be in the end remains to be seen in years to come. Until then we can enjoy 93 very interesting sculptures – people and trees – as they appear on the photos taken by the artist and the project initiators.
📌The idea is to create this underwater forest, this return to wildness of the underwater world. To create sculptures that not only exist on the bottom of the water, but that cross the water and make their way to the surface.
📌The idea is to create this mythical experience and also this space to be populated by aquatic life.
📌The project started about 3 years ago. I was invited by the Department of Fisheries and the Mayor to come and discuss the potential of creating an underwater museum and I spent time checking out different places, visiting the cultural destinations in the area, then I returned to England and over the last three years designed and I built the park.
📌We created this almost otherworldly water experience where people can start at one end of the museum and go on a tour of the different sculptures, exploring this water forest.
📌The museum is positioned only 200 meters from the shore, it is protected and marked. The idea was to encourage divers of all categories to come and the goal is to have snorkelers there as well. The idea is that people can explore it on all levels.
📌At the entrance to the museum there are several floating sculptures that resemble the kelp forest of California. These works start from the bottom of the sea and go up to eight meters. After you pass these you will come across some big oaks that interact with each other.
📌We hope that over time these sculptures will gather large populations of fish and in the end it will be not only an exploration of works of art but also an exploration of nature.
📌It is a place where you not only have the opportunity to appreciate the art but also the environment. This project is not only about giving the sea back to the wild, it is about creating an experience that gives people the opportunity to fall in love with aquatic life all over again.
The museum was created after the Ayia Napa City Hall and the Cyprus Department of Fisheries and Marine Research reached an agreement with the English artist Jason DeCaires Taylor.
The artist created a collection of sculptures that he placed among the trees and plants also made by him. All at only 6, maximum 12 meters deep. The world’s first underwater forest was practically created.
The area is demarcated so that boats cannot enter and disturb those who have come “to visit” the museum.
On the museum’s official website, it says that in order to have access there, whether you want to go snorkeling or scuba diving, you should make a reservation with the “guys” who deal with such things. And this, for more security.
📌 You can find a list of those with whom you can make a reservation here 👉 http://www.musan.com.cy/schools
📌And if you want to know more about the artist, the easiest way to find him is here 👉 https://www.facebook.com/jasondctaylor