The government is seeking a court order to remove the art sculptures displayed at the controversial 'The Coralarium' art gallery installed in Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fenfushi.
The art gallery, the world's first semi-submerged art gallery, was launched in July and exhibits a series of art sculptures by the popular British sculptor, Jason deCaires Taylor.
While the project led to public scrutiny, spokesperson at the President’s Office, Ibrahim Muaz Ali had on the 27th of July, said that the statues would be removed in a day, denying that the authorities had any knowledge of such a project.
While over a month has passed since the spokesperson’s announcement, the sculptures still remain as they were, with the resort even continuing its advertisement.
When contacted to inquire about the matter by RaajjeMV on the 27th of August, spokesperson Muaz revealed that the Tourism Ministry will know the details of removing the sculptures, adding that the authorities had ordered the removal of the Coralarium.
An official at the ministry revealed to some media outlets on Saturday that the management of the resort had been informed and that however, they had revealed that the steel structures of the art gallery are bulky and buried deep into the reef, thus, this project has been drawn-out.
The official further said that officers will be dispatched to Fairmont Maldives for the removal, as the company it was initially tasked with had failed to carry out the procedure during the given duration.
While the unveiling of the art gallery provoked outrage especially within religious scholars, the government had denied having any involvement in the matter. However, RaajjeMV learned later on, that the gallery was built after completing all necessary procedures including informing the tourism ministry.
Due to the public outrage over the project, atate broadcaster Public Service Media (PSM) had attempted to put the blame on main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
PSM asserted that MDP had done so to slander the government during these crucial days when the country is preparing for the Presidential Election. Since then, the accused MDP official, Member of Parliament for Komandoo constituency Ahmed Nashid denied the involvement of any of the party members in the project at Fairmont Maldives.