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Underwater eco-museum sinks sculptures in Cannes

Cannes’ underwater eco-museum has submerged sculptures by artist Jason deCaires Taylor off the island of Sainte-Marguerite.

cannes underwater museum

The underwater attraction was created by Jason deCaires Taylor. It is Taylor’s first underwater eco-museum in France and the Mediterranean.

The museum’s statues will encourage the return of underwater flora and fauna. The project cost €315,000, including the design, manufacture and installation of sculptures.

“Mixing beauty and learning, the Cannes underwater eco-museum symbolises my attachment to two fundamental values: cultural necessity and the preservation of the environment,” said David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes.

“The installation of these sculptures in Cannes now creates an enlarged, safe swimming area, a wonderful setting to discover its underwater life. 

Eco-museum created by Jason deCaires Taylor

“The water is clear, the seabed sandy, and the statues can now play their role as home to fauna and flora.”

The eco-museum features six statues, which were made from ecological marine materials. They are accessible to divers and snorkelers. 

The statues were taken out to sea by barge and submerged close to the southern shore of Sainte-Marguerite. 

Taylor is committed to protecting underwater environments, and his work features in the waters of Cancun, Lanzarote, Oslo, Granada, the Bahamas and the Thames.

Cannes’ underwater offering is inspired by the ‘Man in the Iron Mask’, which was selected in collaboration with the City of Cannes.

Six statues submerged close to Sainte-Marguerite

cannes underwater museum
Jason deCaires Taylor

The ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ was a famous prisoner. He was locked in the state prison on the island of Sainte-Marguerite between 1687 and 1698.

The sculptures will evolve over the years, becoming a home for algae, shells and corals. They will be an integral part of the marine ecosystem, providing a refuge for marine flora and fauna.

Underwater attractions are all the rage in 2021. The Australian Underwater Discovery Centre (AUDC) is set to open by 2022 in Geographe Bay. It will become the world’s largest marine observatory, designed by Baca Architects.

Plans for a new underwater museum to preserve the shipwreck of The Amsterdam were recently revealed by ZJA. The Amsterdam is wrecked off the coast of Hastings, but will be returned to its home port of Amsterdam.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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