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Lanzarote opens Europe’s first underwater museum

Europe’s first underwater museum has officially opened its doors in Lanzarote, after three years in the making.

Museo Atlántico consists of 12 installations and more than 300 life-size human figures created by British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, all located 12 to 14 meters under water.

The museum has been created to promote education, protect the marine and natural environment, and entice people to explore the ocean.

As a result, 2% of the profits made by Museo Atlántico will be awarded to protection, dissemination and research projects related to life in the sea of Lanzarote and the Canary Islands.

Designed to provoke environmental awareness and social change, the collection of sculptures will be toured by scuba divers and snorkelers.

A team of scuba divers helped create the underwater artworks, whilst local residents and visitors also played a part in its creation.

In order to visit the museum, tourists must visit with a certified diving company and will depart from the Marina Rubicón port located in the south of the island.

The first works were installed in February 2016 and have already seen an increase of over 200% in marine biomass – they are now frequented by rare angel sharks, schools of barracudas and sardines, octopus, marine sponges and the occasional butterfly ray.

It is hoped that the project will be a boost for the local economy, creating revenue for diving and boat operators.

Mr Taylor said: “The work aims to mark 2017 as a pivotal moment, a line in the sand and reminder that our world’s oceans and climate are changing and we need to take urgent action before it’s too late.”

The final installation at the museum was a vast circle of over 200 life-size figurative works consisting of various models of all ages and from all walks of life, called the Human Gyre.

If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your specialist travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 11 January 2017

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