Sad news for the art and travel scenes : Maldives officials announced the destruction of the Coralarium contemporary Art Gallery at Fairmont Sirru fen Fushi Maldives resort for outrage to Islam.
The Coralarium, one of the Maldives most incredible place to see, is not anymore. It was unfortunately destroyed by Maldivian Government Officials MNDF on 2018 September 21st, on the orders of Maldives previous President Abdulla Yameen, as announced on the Coralarium Facebook page.
The Coralarium destruction is due to an outrage to Islam
The Coralarium art gallery which was destined to be a beautiful tribute of contemporary environmental art to our oceans, was judged by the Maldives Supreme Court as an outrage to Islam for its sculptures considered as idols of worship of other religions, which is strictly prohibited in Islam and in Maldives.
The announcement on the Coralarium Facebook page stated
” The Maldivian Government ordered to destroy the Coralarium at Fairmont Maldives, a globally relevant art work by Jason deCaires Taylor, world famous environmental artist.
On 21 September 2018 the entire artwork was destroyed by MNDF Military, Police and Law Enforcement with pick axes… “
“..It was decided by the current President to demolish the entire artwork to maintain the five pillars of Islam since the sculptures were considered as idols of worship of other religions … “
This act of destruction was a huge misunderstanding and ignorance of Art. The Coralarium was a place of preservation, conservation and education.
Sculptures were not idols, just humans, plants and corals. Nobody was worshipping them, there were just home to marine species to develop. A place to be visited like a Museum by snorkelers and an incredible artistic representation of nature condition.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
About The Coralarium
The Coralarium was the world’s first semi-submerged art gallery created for the resort Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi by renowned underwater naturalist and artist Jason Decaires Taylor.
Opened in July 2018, the striking art gallery was filled with nearly 30 sculptures and weighted 200 tons. The Coralarium was standing in the middle of the Fairmont’s lagoon and was meant to be a museum for snorkelers and a habitat for coral and other marine species living in the lagoon.
The sculptures themselves were inspired from hybrid forms, mixing human, plants and coral shapes.
Inside, the sculptures were scattered across three levels, at the top of it, inside the gallery itself and underwater as follow :
At the top, sitting on the roof, were black human figures reaching for the sky.
At the top of the Coralarium, one of its main piece : A child sitting and thinking about climate change and sea levels rising
A child looking up towards to surface of the sea as a symbol of questions about the threat of climate change and the consequences of sea levels rising for future generations.
The Child thinking art piece was later destroyed.
Inside the gallery, other sculptures, appearing or disappearing according to the tides.
Underwater, constantly and totally submerged, other sculptures.
Both the middle and underwater levels
are were colonized by marine creatures. Dead coral was used to ornate some of them.
The Coralarium – Photo Gallery
Photos Jason DeCaires Taylor
click to enlarge
All Photos © Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
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