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Take a Dive Into a Unique Underwater Museum in Cyprus

underwater museum Cyprus MUSAN
Guests at the underwater museum “MUSAN” in Cyprus snorkel or scuba dive in order to see the exhibitions. Credit: Instagram/@musan_ayianapa

An underwater museum in Cyprus named MUSAN which opened on Saturday invites guests to scuba dive or snorkel in order to view a collection of stunning statues on the sea floor.

The new cultural site, which contains 93 sculptures, all created by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor, is located just off Pernera Beach in Ayia Napa.

Underwater museum in Cyprus offers unique experience

The museum held an opening ceremony on Saturday which was well-attended by all the people involved in its creation, including Taylor himself. The Cypriot Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Giannis Karousos, as well as the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment Costas Kadis, and the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Savvas Perdios, took part.

Karousos, who also served as the former mayor of Ayia Napa, addressed the guests at the opening of the new underwater Museum in Cyprus.

“This Mediterranean jewel created by world-renowned artist Jason deCaires Taylor offers the visitor a unique experience that demonstrates man’s relationship with nature, the environment and the seafloor,” said Karousos.

The museum itself is expected to draw in more than 50,000 tourists a year from across the world to the shores of Ayia Napa. Karousos noted that this is part of a larger strategy aiming to make the area the “best and most cosmopolitan tourist resort in the Mediterranean by 2030.”

The underwater museum MUSAN has been a long time coming, with the proposal first being pitched to the Municipal Council in 2014. Since then, countless individuals have worked to make this tourist hotspot a reality.

Perdios also spoke at the opening, highlighting that MUSAN fits in well with Cyprus’ overall tourism strategy due to its underwater component. According to the Deputy Minister of Tourism, scuba diving tourism is a key sector which Cyprus is aiming to further through the plan called the “National Tourism Strategy 2030.”

“A magical, mystical, other worldly style” exhibition

The museum’s goal is to connect the sea and the land seamlessly by contrasting a wholly man-made exhibition with the natural beauty and wonder of the marine environment.

A new avenue for eco-tourism, the sculptures are located 6-12 meters (19-39 feet) deep, which means that scuba diving to them is safe for absolute beginners and can be completed through “Discover Scuba Diving” programs.

Snorkeling is also an option for families, and MUSAN states that vertical visibility in the area is often as deep as 20 meters (65.6 feet), meaning that snorkelers would likely easily be able to view the beautiful sculptures placed on the seabed.

According to the MUSAN website, the new underwater museum will “Acknowledge the heritage of Cyprus, the figurative sculptures within the museum will consider a magical, mystical, other worldly style, combining traditional sculptural formations with a contemporary design. The configuration of the sculptures within the museum will follow the topography of the seabed sitting within the open expanse of sand situated South of Pernera Beach.”

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