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Discover MUSAN

MUSAN is an underwater forest, the first of its kind in the world, aimed at transforming a barren stretch of sand into a thriving marine environment. The artworks displayed are created by the award-winning sculptor, Jason deCaires Taylor.

MUSAN has been designated by a Ministerial decree as one of the 6 Marine Protected Areas with Artificial Reefs, aiming to enhance fish stocks and safeguard the marine environment in Ayia Napa. This initiative, which includes the establishment of MUSAN as an Artificial Reef, is part of wider efforts to protect and rejuvenate marine life.

The museum’s metaphorical entrance is marked by two figurative land sculptures, Irineos and Calypso, symbolizing children dedicated to protecting the sea. The underwater entrance is approximately 200 metres from Pernera beach. Here, visitors can explore the remaining 93 artworks, situated 8-10 metres below the water’s surface in a ravine of sand nestled between natural rock formations.

The museum artworks are meticulously designed to attract marine life on a grand scale, evolving organically as they are reclaimed by the sea. Some sculptures float just beneath the surface, ensuring that the entire structure offers a multifaceted environment for marine life at all levels.

For a comprehensive exploration and to better plan your visit to MUSAN, you can find the visitors’ guide here.

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Creative Vision

The museum seeks to create a seamless link between the land and the ocean, combining two disparate wonders: one crafted by man and the other designed by nature. 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.

The sculptural installations aim to enhance the story of Ayia Napa’s as a dynamic, modern, cultural resort at the forefront of conservation and eco tourism, the sculptures will explore the rich cultural and natural heritage of the region, highlighting the exceptional natural beauty found beneath the sea surface whilst giving sea life the opportunity to flourish creating an outstanding example of successful human interaction with the environment.

The Sculptor

Jason deCaires Taylor
MRSS (b.1974) is a sculptor, environmentalist and professional underwater photographer. Taylor graduated from the London Institute of Arts in 1998 with a BA Honours in Sculpture. Taylor became the first of a new generation of artists to shift the concepts of the Land Art movement into the realm of the marine environment. His permanent site-specific sculptural works are predominately exhibited underwater in submerged and tidal marine environments, exploring modern themes of conservation and environmental activism.

Over the past 15 years, Taylor has been one of the first to consider the underwater realm as a public art space and is best known for his numerous large-scale underwater “Museums” and “Sculpture Parks”. Taylor gained international notoriety in 2006 with the creation of the world’s first underwater sculpture park, situated off the West coast of Grenada in the West Indies. Moilinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park is now listed as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. The park was instrumental in the government declaring the site a National Marine Protected Area. Taylor has gone on to produce 1,000+ public terrestrial and underwater sculptures worldwide, which are visited by thousands of visitors each week.

For more information check Jason’s website.

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The Department of Fisheries and Marine Research of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment demonstrated steadfast commitment by not only endorsing the project but also providing the vital financial investment that fuelled its realization. Their significant contribution served as the financial backbone, propelling the marine art endeavour forward. Under the Department of Fisheries’ strategic investment, the commissioning of renowned artist Jason deCaires Taylor became a cornerstone, infusing the project with vitality and setting it on its transformative path. The collaborative efforts of the Municipality and the Department of Fisheries, along with other key stakeholders, have made the creation of MUSAN a shining example of unity in marine conservation and cultural innovation.

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The Municipality of Ayia Napa played a pioneering role in conceiving the underwater sculpture park, envisioning a space where art and nature harmonize. Beyond the initial vision, the Municipality assumed a crucial supervisory role, overseeing the museum’s operations to ensure they align seamlessly with their commitment to cultural enrichment and ecological conservation. With a watchful eye on the underwater masterpiece, the Municipality continues to lead in fostering a unique intersection of artistry and marine life at MUSAN.

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