Govt. seeks court order to remove sculpture park at Gaakoshibee

The Coralarium, a semi-submerged art museum at Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi on Sh. Gaakoshibee. (File Photo)

The Maldivian government is seeking a court order to remove the underwater sculpture museum at the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi – a luxury resort run on Sh. Gaakoshibee.

The Coralarium at Sirru Fen Fushi is the first semi-submerged art museum to be opened in the world and was designed by renowned underwater naturalist and artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

The museum has 14 sculptures of humans, which drew criticism from members of the general public who likened the sculptures to ‘idols’.

The President’s Office announced on July 27 that it has ordered the resort to remove the sculptures within one day. But the museum remains intact over the month after the order was issued.

A government official who spoke to ‘Sun’ said the resort talked about making changes to the sculptures after the President’s Office issued its order, but that no changes have been made, and the government is now seeking a court order for removal of the sculptures.

“We are now working on removing it via a court order now. We are working on obtaining the court order,” said the official.

Speaking about the sculpture museum at Sirru Fen Fushi earlier, Minister of Tourism, Moosa Zameer said resorts don’t need to obtain any special permit from the government to build underwater art museums, but that The Coralarium was built after an Environmental Impact Assessment at the request of the resort.

He said the government had no knowledge the sculpture museum would contain sculptures representing humans.

“We talked to them about six months ago when we heard over the social media that they were doing to install sculptures which could be used for worship there. They assured us they wouldn’t do anything which could infringe on Islamic values or Maldivian laws,” said Moosa Zameer.