One of the most popular tourist attractions in the Caribbean country Grenada is the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park. Loved by snorkelers and divers, the park features numerous life-sized sculptures — all at depths of 16 to 26 feet.
As was expected, the 15-year-old sculpture park has been affected by natural environmental forces over time. As a result, restoration was needed to maintain the sculptures’ environmental suitability and the contribution it brings to local marine life. That work, which ranged from repairing and cleaning some sculptures to removing and relocating others, has now been completed.
“The Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park is a national treasure and its maintenance is important to the upkeep of the pure allure of Grenada’s waters,” Petra Roach, CEO, Grenada Tourism Authority, told TravelAwaits. “Innovatively designed to act as an artificial reef, the park has attracted a stunning array of diverse marine life to the area since its installation and provided a surface for coral to grow, which is ultimately important to our ongoing preservation efforts and commitment to combat the ravages of global warming.”
A Needed Attraction
Grenada, which is northwest of Trinidad and Tobago and northeast of Venezuela, was formerly governed by France and Britain but today is an independent Commonwealth of the UK. The country is made up of a main island, also called Grenada, and smaller surrounding islands.
Grenada’s Molinere Bay suffered considerable storm damage from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The Molinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park, designed by British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, was created to act in place of a reef and provide a new base for marine life.
“Fashioned from a variety of media but predominantly from simple substrates including concrete and rebar, the underwater gallery of sculptures creates an ideal substrate that is relatively fixed and permanent on which marine life may develop,” Pure Grenada explains. “They are sympathetically located to enhance the reef, making natural use of its varied topography of craggy gullies and sun-dappled sandy patches.”
The underwater park, which opened in 2006 and is the first of its kind in the world, features 82 life-size sculptures.
One of the most popular is known as Vicissitudes. Located at a depth of just over 16 feet, it is made primarily of concrete, which creates a hard substrate for coral growth.
“Vicissitudes is a circle of life-size figures cast from local children linked by holding hands,” Pure Grenada explains. “Their transformation by nature, as they become remodeled by the environment and coral growth, reflects the changes of growing up through a lifetime.”
Another of the most popular sculptures is called The Lost Correspondent. Sitting at a depth of almost 29 feet and surrounded by a reef, the sculpture conveys the sense of sitting in an office.
“The Lost Correspondent features a man working at his desk and typewriter, the desk covered with historical newspaper cuttings including some documenting Grenada’s involvement with Cuba,” Pure Grenada explains. “The work draws attention to the changes in how we communicate and depicts the lost correspondent as a relic in today’s society.”
Know Before You Go
Fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to enter Grenada if they test negative for COVID-19 on arrival at the airport, are able to provide proof of vaccination, and agree to quarantine for up to 48 hours. All travelers must also provide proof of a confirmed reservation at a Ministry of Health Pure Safe Travel-approved accommodation for a minimum of seven nights.
You can find more information about travel protocols for tourists, including a list of government-approved accommodations, here.
On the other hand, it must be pointed out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a “Level 4 Travel Health Notice” for Grenada due to high levels of COVID-19, bluntly stating, “Avoid travel to Grenada.” Based on that guidance, the U.S. State Department likewise issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory for Grenada due to high levels of COVID-19.
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