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Statues at Sirru Fenfushi 'Coralarium' were not approved: Zameer

Nafaahath Ibrahim
29 July 2018, MVT 09:36
Nafaahath Ibrahim
29 July 2018, MVT 09:36

Minister of Tourism Moosa Zameer declared that the act of placing statues at Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi Resort had not been approved by Tourism Ministry.

The minister's statement comes after the President's Office issued orders to remove sculptures placed in the resort's recently unveiled Coralarium.

According to a statement given to Mihaaru, Zameer said that permission had been granted to Sirru Fen Fushi for construction of an underwater museum, following an Environment Impact Assesment (EIA).

However, Zameer stated that the ministry was not aware that statues depicting the human form, that may be interpreted as 'idols', were to placed at the location.

"We were assured in writing that the project would not involve the creation of any artifacts that may oppose Islamic values and Maldivian laws ", added the minister.

Zameer went on to say that the statues were not imported into the Maldives, and were sculpted at the resort itself.

English Sculpturer and supposed Environmentalist Jason deCaires Taylor, sculpted several figures as part of the Coralarium, the first semi-submerged museum of it's kind.

According to the artist and resort, the museum had been created to bring awareness to the impacts of sea level rise, to the tourists who would visit the luxury resort, in Shaviyani Atoll.

The museum features 14 different statues portraying the human form, placed at skyline, inter-tidal waterline and on the seabed.

A spokesperson for the President's Office Ibrahim Muaz had revealed via Twitter on Friday that the Tourism Ministry was asked to oversee the removal of the statues.

The minister said that the resort has been informed against making further use of the museum, until the removal of statues is complete.

The unveiling of the museum evoked harsh criticism from the staunchly muslim nation, particularly amongst religious scholars and from within the opposition parties.

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