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Quirky Museums: Museo Atlántico Lanzarote

Continuing our series highlighting quirky museums around the world; we are putting the spotlight on Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain.

Lanzarote, Spain: White, sandy beaches, a sapphire blue ocean, warm, tropical weather, lush, green national parks, all characterised by being named one of UNESCO’s biosphere reserves. Over 150,000 people call this gorgeous island home, and thousands travel there to experience what the island has to offer—including an underwater sculpture museum. Located in the Atlantic Ocean, the museum has a different take on the usefulness of art and how to experience it.

Human Gyre by Jason deCaires Taylor (2015).

Museo Atlántico Lanzarote was founded in 2015 and is the first underwater water sculpture park in Europe. Though this museum is the first of its kind in Europe, it wasn’t the first one to be made. Artist and environmentalist Jason de Caires Taylor created his first museum in Grenada in 2006. He was inspired to create these sculpture parks by the 1968 exhibition EarthWorks hosted by the Virginia Dwan Gallery in New York. The works shown were created with natural materials like trees and mountains. Though this work was groundbreaking at its time, Jason thought that they were not environmentally responsible and embarked on a journey to create works that live symbiotically with certain protected ecosystems. He believed that by doing so he could raise awareness to negatively impacted oceanic environments while also helping them to heal.

The Raft of Lampedusa by Jason deCaires Taylor (2015).

After creating his first sculpture park he gained international recognition and invitations to create more like it all around the world. Select parks, like the first one in Grenada, were instrumental in helping these ecosystems be declared marine protected areas. Due to the nature of these parks Jason has also been inducted as a member/ambassador of environmental organisations such as the Divers Alert Network (DAN) and World Ocean Observatory. He has also been invited to give numerous TED talks on environmentalism and has said that his art is a tool that he uses to reconcile with nature.

If you would like to learn more about the Museo Atlantico Lanzarote, please visit the artist’s website at: and let us know what you think of this Quirky Museum.


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