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Sunday September 21 2014
MUSA: When Art was Immersed in the Riviera Maya...
Author:

Roberto Díaz Abraham
roberto@musacancun.com


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MUSA is a dream turned to reality created by three individuals in just 24 months. Those individuals are now proud to present to the world a grand scale underwater museum of sculpture and coral reef restoration, located off the coast of Cancun.

The human race are creators and mankind may be described as a population of unique marvelous beings who can plan for the future, develop relationships, have ambitions and reach far beyond their wildest dreams imagined.

In order to transform our lives, our society, support network and the environment in which we thrive in must have the belief that we can achieve our goals. By the same token, we have the responsibility to ensure the well being of other living species on planet Earth.

Due to effects from Global Warming in recent years, the conservation of the natural coral reefs surrounding our shores have become a critical concern and research has highlighted the need to preserve oceanic life.

In very different parts of the world with this concern at the for-front of our minds, three everyday people got together and decided that building the first and the largest underwater museum in the world was possible.

It all began from an idea that Dr. Jaime González Cano the Director of the National Park Costa Occidental Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún y Punta Nizuc had. He wanted to reduce to some degree the number of people that snorkel and dive on the natural reefs of this wonderful protected area.

He suggested to the Cancun Nautical Association; via myself their president, the idea of redirecting our visitors to a new location where concrete reef balls implanted with corals had been installed at the beginning of 2005, thus allowing the natural reef to replenish. I was not in full support of this idea and believed that it would take many more years for these artificial gardens to flourish and become accepted as an attraction.

Dr. Gonzalez is one of those people that doesn’t take no for an answer, and so he continued his quest for solutions until he came across via the power of the Internet the underwater contempory art of the British Artist Jason deCaires Taylor. Admiring Jason´s work Dr. Gonzalez’ mind was blown away.

He asked me if I would be interested in building an underwater sculpture park with Jason as the creator. I immediately accepted since I am a ceramic artist and sculptor myself: “Love at first sight”.

With our agreement, Jaime contacted Jason. Within days Jason left London and was in Cancun and between the three of us we came up with a viable plan; based on a very tight budget, to go forward with the project.

Government resources were available for funding Community Conservation projects, but an individual was required to sign for them and come up with 20% of matching funds. Thus, I volunteered with the support of the members of the Cancun’s Nautical Association.

We had only recently met Jason and we trusted him with a sizable deposit, in return he trusted us by leaving his life behind in London. He is a very creative artist filled with ideas and environmental foresight, but he is also one of those few individuals that stand’s true to his word to provide a final product better than we imagined and before schedule.

Two years have passed and a total of 403 concrete sculptures have been installed on the ocean bed next to the Manchones natural reef. Many more of Jason’s great pieces and one made by myself are ready to be placed in a new exhibition room at the Nizuc area.

If you wonder what are the main ingredients to develop a project like this and at the same time become a great success, I would say:

1. The combination of art and conservation
2. Dr. Jaime Gonzalez’s vision and support
3. Jason’s creativity, skills and hard work
4. My commitment to getting results
5. A determined group of people
6. Honesty and trust

Many more individuals from all over the world are helping to spread the word of MUSA. Major funding is required to accomplish and develop the great ideas moving us forward into a positive future for our oceans.


You may contact Roberto Díaz MUSA´s president at: www.musacancun.com, roberto@musacancun.com, and Jason deCaires Taylor at: http://www.underwatersculpture.com/

 

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