- Underwater museum features more than 300 artworks
- The sculptures will help form part of an artificial reef
(CNN)It's been two years in the making, but Europe's first underwater museum is finally complete.
Deep in waters off the Spanish island of Lanzarote, accessible only to snorkelers, divers and sea life, the Museo Atlantico (Atlantic Museum), features more than 300 sculptures by international artist Jason deCaires Taylor.
Submerged at depths of between 12 and 15 meters on the seafloor of Las Coloradas bay, the enigmatic human figures will help form part of an artificial reef, acting as a breeding site for local species.
It's been open to the public since March 2016, but it's only now that visitors can see the completed project in all its glory.
"The whole idea was for it to become a portal to another world," says DeCaires Taylor, who's supplied similar sculpture installations at underwater museums in the Bahamas, Mexico and the Antilles.
His work, made from environmentally friendly concrete, portrays scenes from everyday life and is aimed at raising awareness of oceanic issues.
Says DeCaires Taylor, "I want it to inspire people to understand more about our oceans and the threats facing it."
The sculptures include one titled "Content," showing a couple taking a sub-aquatic selfie. Another, "The Rubicon," involves 35 human figures walking beneath the waves.
The video below shows some of the artworks being lowered into the water in February last year, shortly before it first opened to the public.
Daily diving tours from various locations on Lanzarote start at €46 ($49).
underwatermuseumlanzarote.com; +34 928 518 668