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Underwater sculpture park being eyed

  • Underwater sea sculptures in Mexico by world-renowned sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor.

  • Underwater sea sculptures in Mexico by world-renowned sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor.

  • Underwater sea sculptures in Mexico by world-renowned sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor.

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Oct 05, 2013

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Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) is working to develop a proposal that would transform a part of the seabed into an underwater sculpture park, BREEF officials announced yesterday.

It would involve bringing in world-renowned sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor, who has built underwater parks in Mexico and Grenada.

If the proposal is approved, Taylor would work with Bahamian sculptors Willicey Tynes and Andret John to create the underwater park.

BREEF Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert said the organization hopes to present the government with the proposal soon.

She said the underwater sculpture park will serve as an artificial reef habitat for fish and will also take some diver pressure away from reefs.

“It will also be an amazing attraction for people in The Bahamas and people who are interested in coming to The Bahamas to dive,” McKinney-Lambert said.

The park is being proposed to mark BREEF’s 20th anniversary and honor BREEF Founder the late Sir Nicholas Nuttall.

Eugenie Nuttall, BREEF co-chair, said BREEF is trying to identify a location for the sea park.

She said once a location is identified, BREEF will present its proposal to the government.

Asked if she had any concerns about the impact of developing the park on the seabed, Nuttall said the park is expected to help marine life survive.

“The point is that so many people have gone out... and broken off the coral,” she said. “The seabed in the areas around New Providence are very, very compromised. So something like this will create an artificial reef that’s wonderful. It will also fire people’s imaginations.”

Tynes, who approached BREEF about developing an underwater park, said he hopes that it will solidify The Bahamas as a world-class destination for diving.

Taylor said the marine park will have the potential to bring in additional visitors and will create publicity for the country.

He said he hopes to create something that will “inspire future generations and highlight how wonderful the underwater world is”.

“I want to make something that I haven’t done before and it’s fairly ambitious,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he created 500 sculptures in Mexico.

He said he worked on the project for four years.

John said the opportunity to work on such a large scale project would be priceless.


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