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Spain creates Europe’s first underwater museum

Work on Europe's first underwater museum began off the coast of the Canary Island of Lanzarote on Sunday.

Spain creates Europe's first underwater museum
Photo: Press office of Lanzarote.

The island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands set up of the first sculptures in what will be the first completely underwater museum in Europe.

Museo Atlántico – Atlantic Museum – is the vision of British artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who has created similar works in both Cancun, Mexico and Grenada in the West Indies. The sculpture park in Grenada was the first of its kind in the world and has been listed as one of National Geographic's Top 25 Wonders of the World.

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Moiliniere Sculpture park, Grenada, West Indies. This it where it all began almost 10 years ago.. #grenada #sculpture…

Posted by Jason deCaires Taylor on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The museum off the coast of Lanzarote is set to be submerged 12 metres under the ocean, accessible to scuba divers and visible to glass-bottom boats.

The sculptures on display are human forms, some modeled after local residents, and are created to attract plant and animal life, representing the relationship between humans and nature.


Photo: Press office of Lanzarote.

Lanzarote officials called the submersion of the first sculptures an “historic day” on Sunday, according to a Lanzarote council statement.

“Today is an historic day for the islands because we open a door to the ocean that strengthens our position as a unique tourist destination and makes us much stronger and more competitive compared to other tourist destinations nearby,” said Lanzarote council president Pedro San Ginés in the statement.

“The island is going to show the world one of its most precious secrets – the bottom of our sea,”


Photo: Press office of Lanzarote.

The first sculpture exhibits include a couple taking a selfie, meant for viewers to reflect on new technologies and themselves. Another, called The Raft of Lampedusa, makes a statement about the refugee crisis in reference to the Italian island in the Mediterranean where thousands have arrived.

Taylor said he wanted this exhibit to be a tribute to those who succeed, but also those whose “dreams and hopes remain at the bottom of the sea” according to the statement.

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The Raft of Lampedusa ready at the docks for deployment #marinarubicon #jasondecairestaylor #underwatermuseum #museoatlantico #lanzarote #

Posted by Jason deCaires Taylor on Friday, January 29, 2016

There has been some controversy surrounding the museum locally, according to newspaper La Voz de Lanzarote. The project will cost some €700,000 in public funds and some questioned whether the proper coastline authority had been consulted beforehand. 


Photo: Press office of Lanzarote.

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TRAVEL NEWS

US to end Covid testing requirement for travellers from Europe

Authorities in the USA have announced the end of the Covid-testing requirement for arrivals from Europe, meaning that fully vaccinated people will soon be able to travel between Europe and the US without needing pre-travel tests.

US to end Covid testing requirement for travellers from Europe

Most of Europe had dropped the testing requirement for fully-vaccinated arrivals in the spring, but the US has maintained the requirement to show proof of a negative test for all arrivals.

However on Friday, the Biden administration announced that it would not renew the testing requirement.

The new rule is expected to come into effect at 12.01 Sunday EDT, until then passengers will still need to show a negative Covid test before they can board a plane to the US.

The US currently bars unvaccinated travellers from entry – although this does not apply to US citizens, US residents or those travelling for essential reasons – there was no announcement on lifting this restriction. 

The CDC said that testing requirements could be reinstated if new variants of Covid emerge, and added that it continues to recommend pre-travel testing. 

Covid travel rules vary between individual countries in Europe, but most countries now only require pre-departure tests for unvaccinated travellers. Check the rules of the country you are travelling to for full details. 

To be counted as ‘fully vaccinated’ travellers must have received both doses of an EMA-approved vaccine – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (or a single dose of Janssen).

If their vaccination was more than nine months ago, they need a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated – people who have had a booster do not need a second, even if their booster shot was more than nine months ago.

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