Categories: Marine wildlife

Famous sculptor throws £500,000 sculptures into the sea to save fish

Emily Young has exhibited around the world. Her sculptures can fetch £500,000. Her agent is going mad because Emily has decided to try and save the fish off the coast of Tuscany at Talamone instead of selling her work. Of course her agent gets a cut, which he is having to forego at the moment.

Emily Young working on one of the 10-ton marble heads to be thrown into the Mediterranean to save the fish. Photo: Emily Young (believed)

The reason why she is throwing these priceless sculptures into the sea is to stop illegal trawlers dragging nets at night along the seabed scooping up every sea-bass, sea bream and cuttlefish and at the same time ripping out the seagrass on which the fish feed.

Emily is disturbed by the barren seafloor but her huge 10-ton sculptures prevent fishermen dragging their nets. It all started when a local fisherman, Paolo Fanciulli, started throw concrete blocks into the sea to thwart the trawlers in 2006. He received death threats from the trawler crewman in return but the project has developed with the introduction of Emily Young’s contribution.

She says that her first head has now become home to crabs, starfish and coral.

“There is a lovely ecosystem down there, while local restaurants can again serve local fish instead of frozen fish from Asia.”

Emily Young

She first dropped a sculpture into the water in 2015, which was one of 24 in an 11 mile stretch of seabed. Her second sculpture is to be thrown into the sea next Saturday followed by two more by the end of June.

There is an artistic element to this endeavour. She hopes that her sculptures will be found one day just as ancient Greek and Roman artefacts are regularly found today.

“I like the idea of it being a voice from now to the future.”

Her agent is going to be more disappointed because she said that visitors with goggles will soon be unable to see much detail in her sculptured heads made from marble 8 m down because in time they will all be covered with plant life.

Postscript: the marble is donated by the owner of a Tuscan quarry once used by Michelangelo. Other sculptures have done similar things which is why there 24 sculptures under the sea. The marble has a greyish hue and is streaked. It’s not top price white marble but it is very good marble nonetheless.


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