The town of Cavalaire-sur-Mer on the French Riviera has a history reaching back to Phoenician times. Today it is a busy beach town with a sizable harbor for all kinds of leisure sailing vessels. A mermaid statue was unveiled here on July 4th 2013. It is fitting in many ways, not least because the history or mythology of mermaids traces back to the Phoenicians and ancient Syrians and their goddess Atargatis, the earliest mermaid legend we know of.
She was sculpted by Amaryllis, and was placed here as part of the Amaryllis Art for Charity project, which aims to place about 100 of these statues in prominent and beautiful locations near water, with the goal of raising funds for local charities and promoting the message of this sculpture. The project was created by Thomas Noor, using the Ama statue created by Amaryllis.
There are unique touches to each of the statues, such as the patina chosen, the inscription with the name and the coordinates, and the item at at Ama’s feet, which often is a flower or a sea animal, or something representative of the location.
As to the message of the sculpture, I asked Amaryllis what the statue represents. In her own words:
She left her underwater world to connect with mankind and alert us that we are damaging her environment. She wants to explain that water is the cradle of life, the ultimate necessity to assure humanity’s own existence. As she arrives on more and more shorelines, it is our belief that she will gain a louder voice and will help make the point that we must respect her home.
It is a great message. It is a message of ocean conservation that is supported and furthered by many people involved with mermaids, whether as art, as a profession or as a city icon.
See more photos and information on the Ama Cavalaire page.
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