The Fairmont Maldives Sirrufenfushi Resort has once again opened their semi-submerged art gallery at the lagoon of the resort.
The gallery, which had three different ‘layers’ of art in the form of humanoid sculptures had part of it fully submerged into the water while the steel framework had part of its structure above the water level.
Crafted and created by famed artist and sculptor from England, Jason deCaires the gallery consisted of sculpted work resembling humans and the site opened officially in July 2018.
However, following a series of backlash from the island nation’s various religious clerics the government stepped in to remove the sculptures from the site.
Maldives government authorized the country’s police force to remove the sculptures fixed at the gallery which brought upon significant damages to the site as well. Following this the site was closed down completely and the guests were barred from visiting or inspecting the site.
The backlash over the Coralarium Art Gallery ignited due to the sculptures resembling humans, and with religious clerics arguing those represented figurines used in either Buddhism or Hinduism as part of their religious practices.
Fairmont Maldives released their statement following the reopening of the art gallery, confirming the site will not house sculpted works that resemble corals of various types found in the country.
According to the resort’s management the site will now showcase the lifecycle of coral growth. The site is fortified with the help of ten steel rods that keep the entire site steady and rooted. The sculpted corals follow a set of ‘levels’ starting from underwater and making it above water level – much like the previous representations of the humanoid sculptures.
Fairmont assures the framework and sculptures of the structure has been developed with environmental safety measures put in place with the exclusion of harmful substances or materials. The sculptures with a height of roughly five meters, will hold 500 artificial starfish sculptures made with the use of ceramics.
The resort’s management further noted that these structures have been developed in a manner to catalyze the area’s ecology as the ceramic-laden sculptures and the structure have been designed to attain moss and other nutritional substances on them for the fish to feed on.
Fairmont which is among the top brands of the French-based hotelier brand Accor Hotels, had their property opened at Sirrufenfushi in May 2018. The resort houses the largest in-land swimming pool developed in a resort boasting a length of 200 meters.
The resort is well regarded for its initiatives towards environmental protection and also a lauded and thriving force towards sustainable tourism.