Lonely Planet Writer

Snorkels at the ready: Europe's first underwater museum created in Lanzarote

Visitors to a new museum in Lanzarote will need more than a keen eye for art – they’ll need a snorkel.

Lanzarote's underwater Museum sculptures.
Lanzarote’s underwater Museum sculptures. Image by Canary Islands Tourism Board

Sculptures have now been put in place at Europe’s first underwater museum, called Museo Atlántico, which is located off the coast of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

The artist behind the project is Jason de Caires Taylor, a British sculptor and diver who has similar projects in Mexico and Grenada.

The museum is about 12 metres deep and can be seen by scuba divers as well as those on glass-bottomed boats. The project is intended to protect the marine environment and will act as a breeding site for local species, according to a news release.

The sculptures as they are placed underwater.
The sculptures as they are placed underwater. Image by Turismo del Cabildo de Lanzarote

The project will create a large artificial reef from the sculptures, which are made of high-density, PH-neutral concrete that doesn’t impact the marine ecosystem or local flora and fauna.

Many of the sculptures are in the shape of human forms, some of them using technology like phones and cameras. One installation, the Rubicon, depicts a group of 35 people walking towards the same destination. The Raft of Medusa, which shows a group of people on a life raft, is described as “a reflection on humanitarian crises based on the paintings of Gericáult”. Other sculptures depict half-human, half-cactus creations.

See more images of the sculptures here.

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