October 11 saw another important step in the continued development of the World’s First Underwater Sculpture Park, located within the Moliniere Beausejour Marine Protected Area, approx. 1 mile north of St George’s.
Since it was installed in 2007 by artist Jason De Caires Taylor, Grenada has received repeated local and international media coverage and the area is now internationally recognised as a must see attraction.
The original statue of the Cyclist was damaged beyond repair and removed in 2011. The new replacement statue was created by local, talented artist Troy Lewis.
Troy has completed several other statues for the park, including a concrete replica of the Carenage’s Christ of the Deep which was placed in the park to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Bianca C fire.
The new Cyclist sculpture has been sponsored by Island Water World, which also donated the bike that he is riding.
Island Water World is a chain of marine chandleries in the Caribbean that have been serving sailors for over forty years.
The distinctive Island Water World bikes which can be found at Island Water stores in the Caribbean for its customers who don’t have transport to make getting to their stores and doing local errands a little bit easier.
The new sculpture is mounted on a concrete base which means that it will be freestanding and will appear to be cycling on the sea bed.
The original was extremely popular with visitors and this new evolution is expected is be more so since it will be more visible.
Over time the bike and Cyclist will become part of the underwater marine environment and corals, soft sponges and filter – feeding marine life will soon start to cover the sculpture.
The statues are in water from 3 to 8 meters deep and are accessible to both divers and snorkelers who visit the area.
Although the sculptures are unusual in their own right, they also provide new areas for corals to grow and over time will be transformed by nature into a living reef.
Creating artificial reefs is not new but using pieces of artwork is a new and exciting way to give nature a helping hand. It has opened up a new world of possibility for the snorkeling or diving adventurer.
In reacting to the development, Howard Clarke the chairman of Grenada Underwater Sculpture Management Inc. (GUSMI) said: “This is an exciting time for Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park. We have been working hard for 18 months to gather funding and support to do some very important work. We are very pleased to be teaming up with Island Water World on this project and their support has been amazing.
“In the near future we have another big project which will hopefully be launched in late November, so it’s an exciting time for Grenada as this will create much needed press coverage for the island both locally and internationally”, he added.
Clarke disclosed that earlier this year, the park was featured in a special edition of the National Geographic which featured 25 wonders of the world.
The magazine highlighted The Underwater Sculpture Park among wonders such as Mount Everest, the Great Barrier Reef, Victoria Falls and the Grand Canyon.
“For Grenada to be sharng magazine pages with this calibre of attraction is an outstanding achievement”, Clarke said.
“As we are all very much aware, tourism is a very important part of Grenada’s economy and having this kind of publicity and such a unique attraction is hugely beneficial to raising the awareness of Grenada as a travel destination”, he added.
The installation of the sculpture was completed over two days with support by two local tour companies, Christine Finney, Owner of www.ecodiveandtrek.com and Howard Clarke owner of www.grenadaseafaris.com, both companies offer tours which visit the Underwater Sculpture Park.