Lanzarote Museo Atlantico

MUSEO ATLANTICO

Europe’s first underwater art museum

Atlantic Museum is one of Lanzarote’s nine award-winning visitor centres, adding up to the island’s status as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Conceived and created by Jason deCaires Taylor, the museum’s underwater context offers a unique atmosphere of tranquillity and otherworldly reflection.

POSITIVE CHANGES

Small changes can often have a big impact. Learn how Lanzarote Atlantic Museum is bringing about environmental awareness while making a social commentary through each of its underwater sculptures.

Photo Op | Underwater photos and diving Lanzarote

THE MUSEUM

Located on the south coast of the Canary Island of Lanzarote, Museo Atlántico is home to Europe’s first underwater museum.

Aiming to create a strong visual dialogue between art and nature, British artist Jason deCaires Taylor created mysterious underwater worlds where art evolves as a consequence of the effects of nature.
Jason spent two years creating the sculptures to be sunk in Coloradas Bay and the full project took over three years to plan and construct. Lanzarote’s underwater museum was officially inaugurated 10 January 2017, although it’s been open to public since March 2016.

“We call it a museum for a very important reason. Museums are places of preservation, conservation and education. They’re places where we keep objects of great value to us, where we value them simply for being themselves.”
Jason deCaires Taylor – TED Talk

Dive with the fish and underwater statues Lanzarote

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS

Underwater museums expose a wider audience to marine ecology. They have an educative function and encourage reflection about the environment and the role that humans can play in ensuring its health or destruction.
Sculptures are made of non-toxic, pH neutral marine grade cement, free from harmful pollutants. This cement is highly durable, with a texture that encourages coral larvae to attach and thrive, while nooks and holes provide shelter for fish and crustaceans.
Designed to create a large-scale artificial reef, the sculptures first installed in Lanzarote in February 2016 have already seen an increase of over 200% in marine biomass! They are now frequented by rare angel sharks, schools of barracudas and sardines, octopus, marine sponges and the occasional butterfly ray. Up to 40% of natural coral reefs have been lost over the last decades and the World Resources Institute projects that 90% of coral reefs will be in danger by 2030, and all of them by 2050. These frightening numbers highlight the significance of underwater museums.

SOCIAL IMPACT

Atlántico underwater museum was conceived as a place to promote ecological awareness, education, and preserve and protect the marine and natural environment as an integral part of the system of human values. Visiting Museo Atlantico gives visitors the opportunity to broaden their mind and educate themselves in areas that are normally outside daily life, in a safe and non-destructive manner. Furthermore, the underwater context offers an atmosphere of otherworldly reflection about the social commentary made through the figures included in each installation.
The museum also brings economic benefits through diving tourism and employment to guides who bring visitors to the underwater galleries either deep sea diving, snorkelling or in glass-bottomed boats.

Real life models used to make the sculptures

THE SCULPTURES

Museo Atlántico, Lanzarote’s underwater museumcomprises 10 large-scale installations and more than 300 individual sculptures, designed to create a marine habitat for endemic species, as well as social awareness. The figures are part of an underwater realm that brings forth fantasy and the imagination allowing visitants to step out of their daily life and enter an entirely different reality!

The material used to create the underwater figures is harmless to the environment and designed to create an artificial reef encouraging marine life to flourish in the area.
The Museum is constructed using tried and tested, environmentally-friendly, inert pH neutral materials, and the formations are tailored to suit endemic marine life. It occupies an area of barren sand-covered seabed of 50m x 50m. Each artwork is brought to life through its union with the biological marine life that attaches to it and thrives. There is a distinct interactivity between the living organisms and the sculptures.

Review each installation.