Trying to Protect a Reef With an Otherworldly Diversion


In a stifling warehouse filled with bodies — ceramic replicas and false starts — [sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor] fusses over their lips and noses. Gets the hair just right. Adjusts their clothing.

Then he sinks them in the sea.

There, they rest in ghostly repose in the Museo Subacuático de Arte here, serving at once as a tourist attraction and as a conservation effort by drawing divers and snorkelers away from the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest barrier reef system in the world, and toward this somewhat macabre, artificial one.”

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