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MUSAN in Ayia Napa is now open
 
The opening ceremony of the Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa (MUSAN)
was impressive

 
The opening of MUSAN took place with an impressive ceremony today, Saturday, 31st of July 2021, at Pernera beach in Ayia Napa. In the presence of distinguished guests and the artist himself, Jason deCaires Taylor, one of the most famous representatives of the eco-art movement, the inauguration was a great success.
 
MUSAN is an aquatic treasure for Cyprus, since its uniqueness in combination with Ayia Napa’s marine environment create a special project, the like of which isn’t offered anywhere else.
Guests had the opportunity to listen to the artist himself, Jason deCaires Taylor, talk about his idea for MUSAN and the chronicles of its creation. The artist presented the Undewater Museum of Ayia Napa with 2 short videos.
 
The ceremony was opened by Ayia Napa’s Mayor, Christos Zannettou who stated: “I am very excited that this project is inaugurated during my time as mayor. 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. I’m proud that in the sculptures there are two young Cypriots, which we are revealing today, and which will always be here to mark the museum’s location.
 
The budget for the Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa that we are opening today was €1.000.000. Today, during this difficult time for the world, we raise our Cyprus higher”.
He added that “this project marks a new beginning for our country. 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.
The Mayor of Ayia Napa concluded his speech by saying: “We proved that we do not give up in difficult times, we didn’t surrender, but we fought through adverse economic and operational conditions in our municipality so that we can have our city, Ayia Napa and our island, Cyprus where they deserve to be. We believed that with this unique diving museum visitors will be able to enjoy an underwater oasis, which can improve our visitors’ experience while offering a new opportunity to include this destination in our preferences and explorations. Nothing is impossible with cooperation, strong vision and love, both for our municipality and for the new generation. We can set goals and achieve them”. 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 Ministry of Tourism. In her speech, the director of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, Marina Argyrou, expressed her great satisfaction and excitement that a unique and innovative project that was envisioned with the Ayia Napa municipality is becoming a reality. “I firmly believe that Jason’s 93 artworks will be a haven for many sea creatures and will contribute to the development of biodiversity in the area. 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”. The Minister of Transport, Communications, and Works and former Mayor of Ayia Napa, Yiannis Karousos also addressed the guests. “When asked what projects I am proud to have promoted or implemented during my seven-year term as Mayor of Ayia Napa, among the first I mention is the MUSAN Underwater Museum that we are inaugurating today”, said Mr. Karousos. “It’s a Mediterranean jewel created by the world-renowned artist Jason deCaires Taylor and offers visitors an unforgettable experience that demonstrates the relationship of humans with nature, the environment and the seabed. I took over as mayor of Ayia Napa in 2013 with a vision to make it the best and most cosmopolitan tourist resort in the Mediterranean until 2030. To realize our vision we implemented the Integrated Tourist Experience strategy, with the aim to offer our visitors experiences and memories so that upon their return home they would carry “a piece of Ayia Napa with them” and of course the will to come back to us, thus creating repeat visitors. With this target we begun transforming Ayia Napa into a city of experiences, parks, monuments and landmarks. In this strategy it was paramount to create underwater landmarks so as to grow our diving tourism numbers. Through this vision and strategy, the proposal was submitted to the Municipal Council in 2014 for the creation of a unique underwater landmark, the underwater sculpture park and in 2017, with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, we started the process for the project, signed in 2019
and then proceeded with the execution of the project. I’m positive that every visitor of the underwater park, upon returning home, will take a little bit of Ayia Napa with them”.
In his speech, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Costas Kadis, said: “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. He succeeded, showing that there are also human interventions with beneficial effects on the marine 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.
 
He also mentioned that the possibilities and challenges are numerous. “The Municipality of Ayia Napa and 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”, he added.
MUSAN is a landmark for the tourist product and the promotion of the marine environment of Cyprus, since it is an unmatched experience that combines the natural environment of the sea with art in a way that stands out. In his speech, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Savvas Perdios, stated that “diving tourism is a priority in the National Tourism Strategy 2030. This is an important sector for Cyprus as a tourist destination, which can significantly contribute to attracting specialized tourism and non-specialized. MUSAN complements the offered product of Cyprus in a unique way that we believe has been fully understood by everyone today. That is why we are currently hosting 30 distinguished journalists from priority markets, offering them a unique program, which we are sure will impress them ".
The evening was presented by executives of the organizations, George Payiatas from the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research and Melina Giorgalli from the Municipality of Ayia Napa.
The international media, whose representatives arrived in Cyprus to report on the opening of the museum and to see the sculptures of MUSAN up close, also showed intense interest in the underwater museum. On the day of the opening, in the morning, the municipality of Ayia Napa and the Ministry of Tourism organized a breakfast event, during which they had the opportunity to chat with the artist and the Mayor of Ayia Napa. Later in the day, the first dive and guided tour of the new museum took place.
At the new Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa, visitors can tour an underwater forest, a world’s first. There, they will view 93 works of art by Jason deCaires Taylor, inspired by nature and humans. At the same time, the museum is a work of art in itself, in which nature will be an artist and will make its own interventions, over time. The sculptures have been designed and made with
materials that attract marine life, and are placed at different depths, thus creating a suitable substrate for marine life at all levels.
The sculptures are made of inert materials, with neutral pH, so as not to adversely affect the area. It’s a sandy area, 200 meters from the coastline of Ayia Napa and it is expected that over time the biodiversity of the area will be enriched, thanks to the museum.
Museum visitors can be divers, but also swimmers with mask and snorkels. The entire project is a water journey into the relationship between man and nature, as created by the renowned Jason deCaires Taylor. The artist uses his knowledge and skills as a sculptor, marine conservationist, underwater photographer and scuba instructor to create unique works of art, which respond to the place they are put and enhance marine life.
 
More information
www.musan.org.cy
https://m.facebook.com/MUSANAyiaNapa/
https://www.instagram.com/musan_ayianapa/