Maldives unveils first underwater sculpture museum
The underwater creation is part of a sustainable coral restoration programme
Already famed for its postcard-perfect landscape and luxurious accommodation, now the Maldives can add art to its list of attractions thanks to a first of its kind Underwater Art Installation paying homage to the pristine coral house reef bordering the world-class Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi resort.
Combining sustainability and culture, the artwork is part of the Maldives’ first coral regeneration project created by British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, known for his extraordinary underwater art. Taylor, who’s work has been recognised by National Geographic as one of the top 25 Wonders of the World, is acclaimed as the creative brains behind the world’s first underwater sculpture the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada.
From the resort’s infinity pool there will be a path to take guests down out to the ‘cube’, a semi-submerged viewing platform to see all 10 sculptures, which you can enter inside and snorkel to witness the sculptures at the bottom of the cube. The piece will be fully installed and finalised by 20 May.
The installation will be aptly housed as part of the Maldives brand new Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi resort, located on the Shaviyani Atoll, which is renowned for attracting manta rays, turtles, and bottlenose and spinner dolphins in the crystal-clear waters to its lagoon – one of the largest in the Maldives. The hotel’s moniker translates as ‘secret water island’ in the local Dhivehi language, and reflects the hotel’s exclusivity – it’s the sole hotel on the pristine atoll.
“We are thrilled to introduce the first Fairmont and our third development in the Maldives since our entry into this region in 2017.” said Patrick Basset, the COO of AccorHotels, Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia. “Fairmont guests feel like they are in the heart of the destination; and at our first Fairmont property in the Maldives, we are delighted to offer them the full Maldivian immersion with locally inspired design and indigenous cultural experiences, enhanced by Fairmont’s welcoming service and the destination’s fabled natural beauty."
Further cementing its eco-friendly ethos, guests are also invited to help plant coconut trees on the island, or take part in coral restoration efforts and turtle release programs. What’s more, the resort also boasts an open-air bamboo bar curated by Balinese artisans who used only organic materials in the structure.
“Our resort and the destination itself are inextricably linked. As the location for the Maldives’ first Underwater Art installation we hope to raise awareness that encourages long-term reef protection and sustainable tourism,” said Denis Dupart, general manager of Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi. The resort also offers community engagement through cooking classes with a Maldivian master chef and sunset fishing aboard an authentic dhoni learning traditional line fishing methods to experience a taste of authentic Maldivian culture.