Jason DeCaires Taylor's New Underwater Installation Opens in Ayia Napa

musan ayia napa 1000b

The new installation is built as a giant underwater forest for diving and snorkelling (Photo: MUSAN/@JasondeCairesTaylor)

A new installation by underwater artist Jason deCaires Taylor has opened in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, drawing attention to the depletion of marine life in the Mediterranean Sea over the past 20 years, while hoping to attract more.

The Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa (MUSAN) is an underwater forest consisting of more than 93 artworks, some of which are in the form of trees, others which are figurative in nature. The artworks have been designed to attract marine life on a large scale, and are expected to 'grow organically' over time.

Further installations are placed among the trees at various depths from the seafloor to the surface, laid out to resemble a path through a dense underwater forest. Some of the tree forms will float just beneath the surface so that the whole structure provides a complex environment for marine life at all levels.

musan ayia napa 1000

Some of the structures are trees, others are figurative in nature (Photo: MUSAN/@JasondeCairesTaylor)

The creation of MUSAN was a result of the joint effort of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, the Ayia Napa municipality and the Cypriot Ministry of Tourism. Situated over a barren stretch of sand within a marine protected area, the sculptures are made from inert pH neutral materials, which are harmless to the environment and which, it is hoped, will attract a wide variety of marine flora and fauna – as well as scuba diving tourists.

'I firmly believe that Jason’s artworks will be a haven for many sea creatures and will contribute to the development of biodiversity in the area,' said Marina Argyrou, director of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research. 'The underwater museum will be a living visual and ecological experience, with works of art interacting with nature and evolving over time and I’m certain it will bring people closer to the marine environment and the conservation and protection of our marine ecosystem.'

moving ebook gif 2

Download our FREE gift Around the World in 80 Wrecks - a 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks - plus Wonders of the Pacific and readers' favourite Scuba Stories

musan ayia napa 1000c

The museum highlights damage to the oceans while encouraging new growth (Photo: MUSAN/@JasondeCairesTaylor)

The new art installation, first proposed in 2014 and constructed with a budget of €1million, was opened on 31 July by Ayia Napa’s Mayor, Christos Zannettou. 'I am very excited that this project is inaugurated during my time as mayor,' said Zannettou. 'It’s a legacy for future generations and contains many symbolisms about the alienation of humans from the environment, the relationship between different generations and climate change.

'This project marks a new beginning for our country,' added Zannettou. 'It enriches our tourist product and is now part of our national treasures. Simultaneously, it upgrades and attracts a separate group of tourists with special interests, and it offers a unique experience for all tourist groups and ages. At the same time, it supports our efforts in extending our tourist season, operating reciprocally for our country’s economy.'

musan ayia napa 1000d

It is hoped the installation will spark interest in dive tourism to Ayia Napa (Photo: MUSAN/@JasondeCairesTaylor)

MUSAN is situated within 200m of the Aiya Napa coastline and is accessible to both divers and snorkellers. Marine tourism – and diving in particular – has been named as a top priority within Cyprus' National Tourism Strategy 2030, with the opening of the new underwater artwork expected to generate financial benefits to the country, as well as improving the marine environment. 

'Jason deCaires Taylor is an artist whose concern about the effects of climate change, overfishing and other human interventions has led him to various areas of the planet where through his work he tried to create ideal conditions for the development of marine life at all levels,' said Costas Kadis, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment. 'Jason's artistic interventions change the perspective through which we face environmental issues and remind us that man can coexist harmoniously with the marine environment. The Department of Fisheries and Marine Research will continue to work responsibly for the effective management of the underwater museum, which will add to the value of Cyprus in terms of tourism and culture.'

For more information, visit www.musan.org.cy, follow the MUSAN Facebook page or Instagram @musan_ayianapa 


digital dive gif




Love diving? You'll love these. Sign up today to immediately download our unique FREE gifts -

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WRECKS - DIVE's 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks

SCUBA STORIES - DIVE's collection f real life stories where divers, who have got themselves into perilous situations, describe how they reacted and what actions they took to ensure they lived to tell the tale

PACIFICHighlights of the Pacific - Dancing mantas in Hawaii • The Best Diving in the World, Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo & Socorro • Mass Spawning Events in Palau

New Upright Gift Banners 300 x 600 px

Sidebar SUBSCRIBE spring 21 large2

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

sidebar philippines sidebar bahamas sidebar mexico sidebar fiji sidebar st helena 2020 Sidebar Egypt sidebar banner sabah sidebar banner belize sidebar banner south africa

DIVE Partners

sidebar banner egypt new ceningan divers ad 300x100 LH 300 min giphy subex Wakatobi Siladen Aggressor Fisheye Dive Worldwide gozo banner Arenui

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below

PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final

Like what you see?

Join us on social and keep updated daily...