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Underwater Art Gallery Debuts Off Key West

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) -- An underwater art exhibition has debuted on the world's second-largestartificial reef, the 523-foot Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, lying in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary about seven miles south of Key West.

Saturday and Sunday, divers installed a dozen 3-foot by 4.5-foot photo illustrations on the Vandenberg's weather deck, more than 90 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

Created by Austrian art photographer Andreas Franke (pronounced Fron-kee), the images are encased in plastic and mounted in stainless steel frames sealed with silicone. They are a continuation of the artist's "Sinking World" series which Franke debuted on the Vandenberg in 2011, two years after the former Air Force missile tracking ship was sunk as an artificial reef.

The manipulated photographs, according to Franke, depict a flamboyant era of European style and cultural history. Among visuals are women gossiping over a picnic and other ladies engaged in a leisurely stroll twirling umbrellas.

Aiding the installation process were divers from the Artificial Reefs International Preservation Trust and Salt Life.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)

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