MUSA gallery of Punta Nizuc
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The Cancún Underwater Museum (Spanish: Museo Subacuático de Arte, known as MUSA) is a non-profit organization based in Cancún, Mexico devoted to the art of conservation. The museum has a total of 500 sculptures, most by the British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor and the others by five Mexican sculptors, with three different galleries submerged between three and six meters (9.8 and 19.6ft ) deep in the ocean at the Cancún National Marine Park. The museum was thought up by Marine Park Director Jaime Gonzalez Canto, with Taylor's assistance, with the objective of saving the nearby coral reefs by providing an alternative destination for divers. It was started in 2009 and officially opened in November 2010.
At the beginning of 2008, Jaime Gonzalez Canto and Jason deCaires Taylor began to create the plans for an underwater museum that would be formed by nature into a coral reef.
Dr. Jaime González Miki, the Director of the National Park Costa Occidental Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún y Punta Nizuc, saw that the natural coral reefs were being damaged by tourists, anchors, and divers. In particular the largest coral reef in Cancún, Manchones Reef, was receiving the most damage because it is the most often visited by divers and snorkelers.
Early in 2005 González Canto suggested to the then President of the Cancún Nautical Association, Roberto Díaz Abraham, the idea of taking snorkelers and divers to an area where concrete reefs with some corals had been placed, to draw them away from Manchones reef. By January 2008, Díaz Abraham walked away from the project, believing that it would take many more years for the artificial coral gardens to flourish and become an attraction, but González Canto persisted. Pursuing research on artificial reefs, he came across Taylor, who had been pioneering the use of underwater sculptures for the creation of artificial reefs on a project in Grenada that demonstrated the value of art in conservation, the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park. He was a diving instructor in the...