Southern Hemisphere’s first underwater art museum completed in Australia

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SYDNEY, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — Construction of the Southern Hemisphere’s first underwater art museum is now complete, with an exhibition of marine art sculptures submerged in a Coral Greenhouse off the coast of Townsville at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Marine sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor said the nine-month project at the John Brewer Reef site is made of stainless steel and marine-grade cement.

“It’s submerged at around 18 meters deep. It rises up to nine and a half meters high and it weighs over 160 tonnes,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday.

“It’s comprised of a building that’s populated by about 20 sculptures and each of them are doing different activities in their underwater botanical space.”

Funded by the Queensland State government and the the Museum of Underwater Art board, the Coral Greenhouse is expected to open to the public in April 2020.

“(There is) up to 85 percent coral cover, diverse fish, so that tourists, scientists, and I hope a lot of the community from Townsville will plan to go out and see amazing underwater sculptures but also a healthy reef,” deCaires Taylor said.

With moorings set up and educational material at the site for visitors, deCaires Taylor expects there to “be an awful lot of interest” in the project.

“(But) there will be a booking system that we are still working on to ensure it’s not overcrowded,” he said.

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