Underwater art museum finally opens after COVID-19 delay

mevans/iStockBy GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN, ABC News

(TOWNSVILLE, Australia) — The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) in the Great Barrier Reef, Townsville, Australia, welcomed its first divers to its newest installation earlier this week.

Jason deCaires Taylor. a British sculptor, is the artist behind the underwater exhibit called Coral Greenhouse. The Coral Greenhouse is located in the heart of the Greater Barrier Reef Marine Park at John Brewer Reef and is the largest MOUA installation, featuring the first underwater building.

“Coral Greenhouse” was supposed to open in April 2020, but was postponed “to allow the tourism industry time to deal with the challenges being faced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the museum wrote on its Instagram. An underwater ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening occasion on Aug. 2.

As the first of museum of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, MOUA’s goal is to “highlight reef conservation, restoration and education on a global scale,” according to its web site. “Coral Greenhouse” is one of two installations — the other is “Ocean Siren,” the inaugural sculpture installed alongside North Queensland’s Strand Jetty in Townsville. It can be seen from land.

There are two additional locations planned at Magnetic and Palm Islands. They are expected to be complete in 2021.

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