Art History Lab

Underwater Wonders: Exploring the Significance and Accessibility of Statues in Italy, Grenada, and Key Largo

Exploring the Underwater Wonders of San Fruttuoso, Italy

Italy, known for its art, culture, and astounding beauty, is also home to awe-inspiring underwater sceneries. One of the most incredible sites to explore is the Christ of the Abyss statue, located in the small village of San Fruttuoso, Italy.

History and Creation of the First Bronze Statue

San Fruttuoso, a picturesque cove nestled between Portofino and Camogli, is home to an array of marvels that attract tourists from all over the world. The Christ of the Abyss statue is undoubtedly the most recognizable and prominent attraction in this enchanting place.

The statue’s history dates back to 1949, when the first bronze statue was created by Guido Galletti. The statue was placed in the waters of San Fruttuoso to commemorate the life of Dario Gonzatti, a champion Italian diver who drowned while exploring this area.

Tourist Attraction and Accessibility

Scuba divers flock to this area to get a close-up view of the statue, which is placed roughly 15 meters below the surface. Scuba diving in San Fruttuoso has become a popular activity, with numerous diving centers offering training for beginners and diving trips for more experienced divers.

This area also holds a fascinating history, as the British vessel, HMS Devonshire, once wrecked here. Visitors can explore the remains of the vessel while taking in the breathtaking views.

Grenada Copy

Grenada, known as the Spice Island, is situated in the eastern Caribbean. The island’s St. George’s harbor is home to a replica of the Bianca C, a luxury Italian cruise liner that sank off the coast of Grenada in 1961.

The replica is not just a tourist attraction; it is also a symbol of Grenada’s fascinating history.

Circumstances Surrounding the Creation of the Replica

Costa Line, the company that owned the Bianca C, created the replica in 1968 as a tribute to Grenada’s courageous efforts in rescuing passengers from the ship. The replica cost a staggering $5 million to create and took almost three years to complete.

Symbolism and Tribute to Heroic Acts of Grenadians

The Bianca C replica also serves as a reminder of the heroic acts performed by Grenadians during the aftermath of the sinking. The island’s residents created a temporary hospital to treat the wounded, and many Grenadians risked their lives to rescue passengers from the ship.

The replica is an attraction for tourists and locals alike, ensuring that the heroic efforts performed by Grenadians are never forgotten.


San Fruttuoso and Grenada showcase the beauty and resilience of underwater structures and the meaning behind them. Both locations hold a rich history and significant symbolism, attracting visitors from all over the world.

For those who are interested in exploring the depths of the ocean, both areas offer an array of natural wonders waiting to be explored. American Copy in Key Largo: A Monument of Peace and Remembrance

The peaceful and calming presence of underwater statues is an attraction for divers and snorkelers in Key Largo.

One of the most popular underwater sculptures in this area is the American Copy, which is a tribute to one of the most recognizable sculptures in the world. In this article, we’ll explore the origin and history of the American Copy that now rests in the dry rocks of Key Largo.

Journey of the Statue from Chicago to Key Largo

The story of the American Copy begins in 1957, when the original sculpture was unveiled at the Palmer House in Chicago. The sculpture, created by Italian artist Guido Galletti, was a symbol of peace and blessing.

In 1962, the statue was transported to Italy, where a replica, called Christ of the Abyss, was created by sculptor Duilio Marcante. The American Copy, which is identical to the Christ of the Abyss statue, was created in 1965.

The statue was donated by Egidi Cressi, a prominent Italian diver, to the Florida Otter Diving Club. The transfer of the statue from Chicago to Key Largo was a logistical challenge that was solved by transporting the 8.5 feet, 4,000-pound bronze statue to O’Hare Airport, then to Orlando, before finally arriving in Key Largo.

Inauguration and Testing of the Monument

The American Copy statue was inaugurated in 1966 by Mayor Thomas’s wife in a ceremony held at the Key Largo Hilton. The statue was then transported to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, where it was tested in the water and positioned in its current location in the dry rocks of Key Largo.

In 1965, Hurricane Betsy hit the area, causing significant damage. The American Copy survived with minimal damage, which was a testament to its sturdy construction and placement.

Since then, the statue has become an important tourist attraction and a symbol of peace that brings people together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Underwater statues are a unique and extraordinary sight to behold. Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you better understand the purpose and viewing of these magnificent structures in San Fruttuoso, Grenada, and Key Largo.

Purpose and Inspiration behind the Statues

The creation of these statues was inspired by two distinct events. The first is the peace blessing sentiment that motivated the creation of the original Christ of the Abyss statue in Italy by Guido Galletti.

Galletti’s creation aimed to inspire peace and hope in people, which has now become the inspiration behind all underwater sculptures around the world. The second event that inspired the Grenada replica and the American Copy statue was the tragic loss of life due to the sinking of two separate vessels.

The replica in Grenada and the American Copy in Key Largo, therefore, signify the courage and strength of the human spirit in overcoming a tragedy.

Viewing the Statues and Accessibility

All of these statues can be viewed by snorkelers and certified divers visiting the respective locations. The Christ of the Abyss statue in San Fruttuoso, Italy, is placed approximately 15 meters below the surface and can easily be accessed by diving centers in the area.


Grenada Copy replica is located in St. George’s harbor, where visitors can board boats to view the structure. The American Copy statue, located in the dry rocks of Key Largo, is accessible by pencil buoy and can be viewed while snorkeling or diving.

The surrounding area is home to beautiful soft corals and offers an added attraction for divers and snorkelers. In conclusion, exploring these underwater structures can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it’s essential to understand their significance and history.

From the creation of the Christ of the Abyss statue in Italy to the replicas in Grenada and Key Largo, these monuments stand as symbols of peace and resilience in the face of adversity. In conclusion, exploring the underwater statues in San Fruttuoso, Grenada, and Key Largo is an extraordinary experience that showcases the resilience and beauty of the human spirit.

These statues serve as symbols of peace and hope, and also honor the courageous efforts of those who have faced tragedy and overcome adversity. The significance and accessibility of these structures make them a must-see attraction for tourists and divers alike, and we should continue to preserve and appreciate the rich history and symbolism they represent.

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