An underwater museum, similar to Cancun Mexico’s famous site, is in the pipeline, Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannis Karousos has revealed.
According to the mayor, the underwater attraction will be first of its kind in Europe and will be created as part of Ayia Napa’s aims to enrich the experience of its visitors.
Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Karousos said: “The Municipal Council unanimously and immediately agreed and at the start of May approved a submitted proposal for the construction of an underwater art park. The first of its kind in Europe and what we hope will become a landmark which enriches visitors’ experience.”
Karousos explained underwater museums featured sculptures and other creations that would not compromise the natural environment and marine life.
“We want to make the Ayia Napa park like the one in Cancun, Mexico which contains over 400 sculptures and has become a point of reference all over the world,” Karousos said, adding the sculptures could be viewed by snorkelers and as well as scuba divers.
The mayor said the plans include making use of an artificial reef in order to make the waters shallower.
“We have already met with the Agriculture Minister to discuss the issue and have also contacted the Fisheries Department to let us know what has to be done for the relevant permits to be issued so that the first sculptures can be placed in the sea in summer 2015,” he said.
Karousos said contests would be organised for the creation of sculptures “with the aim of creating the largest underwater art park in Europe, a place that can be visited by anyone, even without scuba diving equipment”.
One of the themes being considered for the sculptures is Greek mythology, Karousos said, adding that the Agriculture Ministry and Fisheries Departments’ opinions would also be taken into account “on what exactly needs to be done and how”.
Karousos also noted a new Ayia Napa landmark had been put in place recently, a stone ‘I Love Ayia Napa’ sculpture which has been placed at the entrance to the town’s central square.
Measuring eight metres by 2.6 metres, the sculpture was suggested by a resident of Ayia Napa, Karousos said, adding: “Everyday people of every age and from every country visit the area and take photos. Anytime of day or night someone visits the spot there is someone there having their photo taken with the sculpture.”
The “around 500” photos taken there per day, the mayor said, “help empower the visitor’s unique experience” in Ayia Napa.