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Revealed: Amazing new artificial reef in Mexico made from sculptures of real people
Autor: Richard James,www.dailymail.co.uk, 21-10-2010
Meksyk

These astonishing images show an extraordinary new artificial reef off the east coast of Mexico made entirely from human statues.

The underwater installation has been created by British artist Jason de Caires Taylor who used real people to create the 'life casts' made from materials which encourage coral to grow.

 

 

 

 

 

It is hoped the new sculptures will produce a coral reef system and attract a variety of aquatic creatures to the Cancun and Isla Mujeres National Marine Park.

The project, entitled The Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA), is aiming to ease pressure on nearby natural reefs which are struggling to deal with the half a million water-going tourists who flock to the area every year.

 

 

Commenting on his unique installation, Mr Taylor said: 'We wanted to make it adventurous and on a really grand scale. It's a symbiosis of humans and nature living in this cycle in harmony with each other.

The main objective is to discharge quite a lot of the tourists who visit Cancun. Over 750,000 people come here every year to visit the marine park and that puts a huge pressure on the natural reef.'The idea was to take some of these people away from the natural reefs and obviously minimise their impact on them, so we wanted to draw them to an area that was originally barren without much sea life.'We want it to be very accessible to snorkelers and divers and we wanted it to be accessible from Cancun, nearby Isla Mujeres and different parts of the surrounding community.'

 

The 36-year-old artist said the original plan was to use 200 statues but later it was decided to install a total of 400 on the seabed, of which 350 have so far been anchored.Mr Taylor claims the statues are meant to represent a 'cross-section of society' with the casts made from local Mexican people.

The sculptures have been made from a special type of cement which is 10 times harder than the normal kind and has a neutral PH, which is favourable to corals.The statues are reinforced by rigid fibreglass with similar properties to rock so they remain in place. 

Anchored to the rocky sea bed 10 metres below the surface using a special drill, fused together and weighing over 120 tons in total, it is hoped the new reef can even weather out hurricanes and storms that regularly hit the area.