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Artist creates new 18-foot-tall underwater scupture

An 18-foot-tall female Atlas sculpture is now kneeling on the ocean floor, holding the surface of the sea on her shoulders, off the coast of New Providence, Bahamas.

Part of The Sir Nicholas Nuttall Coral Reef Sculpture Garden, the Atlas sculpture was created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who previously put 500 life-sized sculptures in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc.

Organized and curated by the Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation (BREEF), the project aims to relieve pressure on natural reefs, which can be hotspots for environmentally-damaging tourism.

"The coral reef sculpture garden can become a new environmental-friendly tourist and local attraction for The Bahamas once completed," said BREEF Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert.

"The Coral Reef Sculpture Garden is the perfect fusion of art, education and marine conservation located in the world's most beautiful waters. By installing the eco-friendly artwork, beach-goers and snorkelers can now be redirected from natural reefs which will allow time for regeneration."

BREEF was founded in 1993 by the late Sir Nicholas Nuttall to focus on the education of Bahamian teachers about the environment and to address growing concerns on the state of The Bahamas' marine environment.

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