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The Sculptures For Deerfield Beach's Rapa Nui Reef Are Crushed, And Now So Are We

Fifteen Easter Island-style sculptures set to form an artificial reef off Deerfield Beach were crushed over the weekend as they were being lowered into the water.

The barge carrying the 300-ton concrete heads was supposed to be dropped straight down into the ocean Sunday. Instead, the boat took on too much water on one side and started flipping, the Associated Press reported. Spectators watched as the replicas hit the water.

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The Rapa Nui Reef—named after the Polynesian term for Easter Island—was intended to be an underwater sculpture environment for divers to explore and marine life to inhabit. Margaret Blume, a Boca Raton philanthropist who donated $500,000 to fund the project, told Local 10 News she had hoped the reef would "put Deerfield Beach on the map."

“I thought it was mysterious and eerie,” she told the Miami Herald in April. “We were looking for something iconic that hasn’t been done before … the wow factor.”

Now at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, the sculptures are either upside down or crushed. Though it’s still an artificial reef, the result is surely not what Pompano Beach artist Dennis MacDonald, who put four months of work into the project, envisioned.

Arilton Pavan, owner of Dixie Dives, told the Sun Sentinel he would caution divers from exploring the area because it could be dangerous.

Watch the aerial video of the Rapa Nui reef sinking above.