The beautiful and charming City of Tarpon Springs on the west coast of Florida now has its fabulous 6′ 4″ bronze mermaid statue, the Ama Tarpon Springs.
She was installed March 31st, and unveiled on April 1st, in time to be admired by all those attending Tarpon Springs’ Annual Fine Arts Festival this weekend.
The official welcome and dedication ceremony will be on April 9th 2014 at 5:30pm, in Craig Park, where visitors will have a chance to meet Amaryllis, the French sculptor. City officials and the Tarpon Springs Public Art Committee will attend of course. You are invited.
Not your usual mermaid, the Ama statue has both legs and a tail. She has legs while on land, with her scales and tail carried with her over her shoulder for when she returns to her own element. Her message – the reason she is here – is ocean conservation, and the hope that we will help protect all marine life and the seas that are the cradle of life on our planet.
She fits in perfectly with the Tarpon Springs’ strong tradition of cultural arts and its strong Greek heritage – mermaids originated in Greek mythology after all. The city is also a haven for manatees, the graceful creatures historically associated with mermaid sightings, and the Ama sculpture includes a small manatee at the base. Lastly, the sculpture includes a vase sponge as a tribute to the city’s tradition of sponge diving.
The statue is part of the Amaryllis Art for Charity project sponsored by German company Koh-i-Noor, which aims to eventually place 100 similar Ama statues across the world in locations of great beauty near water. Ama Tarpon Springs is the 17th statue in the series, and the first on America’s East Coast.
The name Ama comes from the Japanese word Ama, referring to traditional pearl divers in Japan.
More information on our Ama Tarpon Springs page.