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Lanzarote Journal: Undersea Museum Keeps Fish Feeding and Its Social Commentary Biting

The underwater museum is off the south coast of the island, close to most of Lanzarote’s cruise ship and package tourism infrastructure, including an animal park that has generated opposition from environmentalists after it took in dolphins from German aquariums in November. Dolphins can also be viewed in open waters around Lanzarote.

Mr. Taylor, 42, studied arts in London, but his underwater work has also drawn on his other skills. He worked as a diving instructor and underwater photographer, as well as a stage rigger, which, he said, taught him how to anchor statues on a seabed.

As a teenager, he sprayed graffiti on subway cars, which would then be wiped clean the next day.

Urban graffiti is “a lot of labor that can then be gone forever,” he said, just like statues once they lie at the bottom of the ocean. “You learn the idea of change, lack of control and not being precious about your work.”

Mr. Taylor has completed similar projects on the other side of the Atlantic. In 2010, he opened an underwater museum off Cancún, Mexico, where, he said, the warmer water and larger natural reef are allowing more marine life to develop than in Lanzarote.

Ben Hutchinson, a British diving instructor who moved to Lanzarote nine years ago, said he had received several requests from people wanting to dive the underwater museum. But he offered a note of caution, saying it remained to be seen whether the museum could reach both its tourism and conservation goals.

“I’m here because of tourism, as is almost everyone else working in Lanzarote,” he said, “but there is also no point pretending that attracting more people doesn’t normally disturb sea life.”

Source: NYT > World

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