In the South of France, off the famous coastline of Cannes, a wonderful travel destination, an underwater art museum just opened in February 2021, a permanent installation beside the island of Sainte-Marguerite. Jason Decaires Taylor, a British artist launched this new project in the Mediterranean Sea, featuring six monumental sculptures! Curious? I Lobo You is going to share with you everything about this new museum!
Known for a dreamy coastline, unique beaches, for the star-studded Cannes Film Festival, the city of Cannes just added a new wonderful attraction! The huge sculptures made by the artist Jason Decaires Taylor, are made of pH-neutral cement and are portraits of local people who live in Cannes, from children to senior residents. These sculptures are three-dimensional portraits, each over two meters (6 feet) in height and ten tons in weight!
The museum’s sculptures are placed at a depth of between two and three meters (6-10 feet) and rest on areas of white sand, in-between oscillating Posidonia seagrass fields in the protected southern part of the island of Sainte-Marguerite.
There’s no entrance fee; just go on your boat or bring your own snorkeling equipment and discover them yourself.Jason Decaires Taylor
Funded by the city’s mayoral office and town hall, the underwater museum took more than four years to develop, and it’s now open to socially-distant divers. Surrounded by crystal-clear waters, the purpose is to bring attention to the state of the world’s oceans, which keeps declining, as the Mediterranean is flooded with pollution and has problems like overfishing, as well as over-tourism.
The underwater ecosystem has been continuously degraded and polluted over the years by human activity. We have a misconception that the underwater world is beautiful, filled with coral reefs, but that’s often not the case.Jason Decaires Taylor
The artist evidenced the problem of pollution, before installing the sculptures, he had to clear out all the garbage at the bottom of the sea. Then, he started lowering the finished sculptures underwater.
Each face is upscaled and divided into two parts, the outer part resembling a mask. This theme of masks relates to the history of Sainte-Marguerite, well known as the place where ‘the man with the iron mask’ was imprisoned, and Cannes it’s famous for its relationship with the performing arts. This is also a symbol of a double-edged problem the world is facing, the ocean’s strength and fragility!
The artist has created more than one thousand underwater sculptures across the world, from Grenada to Australia and Mexico. This isn’t his first underwater project, and certainly will not be his last!