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Underwater wonder: Surreal sunken art in the Maldives

By Frances Cha, CNN
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 2206 GMT (0606 HKT)
Viennese artist Andreas Franke's latest underwater exhibit went on display in the Maldives this week. Divers set up the artwork valued at $15,000 per piece. Viennese artist Andreas Franke's latest underwater exhibit went on display in the Maldives this week. Divers set up the artwork valued at $15,000 per piece.
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Setting up underwater art exhibit
Watery installation
Seaworthy
Through the glass
Visual therapy
The Vandenberg Project
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Stavronikita Project
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fairy tale-themed underwater art exhibits go live at two Maldives resorts
  • Plexiglas-encased artworks are priced at $15,000 each
  • Viennese artist Andreas Franke specializes in exhibitions on shipwrecks

(CNN) -- Personally, we'd rather not have anything obstructing the incredible views from a Maldives resort.

We could stare out the window for months -- especially if those windows are underwater.

But we have to admit the surreal, sea-themed fantasy art of Viennese artist Andreas Franke looks pretty cool set amid the clear waters of the Indian Ocean.

More: World's best underwater attractions

This week, two Maldives resorts launched underwater art exhibitions featuring Franke's new work.

Huvafen Fushi and NIYAMA resorts, both owned by Per AQUUM, have installed the artworks outside the windows of their respective LIME Spa and Subsix music club.

Both venues are located underwater.

Known for his ghostly underwater exhibitions on shipwrecks, the artist turned to fairy tales for his latest theme.

Titled "Phantasy Fairytale," the Maldives exhibitions feature characters from fairy tales such as "Sleeping Beauty," "The Snow Queen" and "Little Red Riding Hood," but with the backdrops changed from gloomy forests to seabeds.

In contrast to Franke's previous exhibitions, visitors aren't allowed to dive among the paintings.

MORE: Best Maldives resorts for every type of vacationer

Setting up the exhibition was no simple task, with divers carefully handling the Plexiglas-encased artworks, valued at $15,000 each.

The exhibits will be showing until May 31.

Each resort is offering a special four-night package to mark the event.

Huvafen Fushi; +960 66 44 222; Phantasy Fairytale package starts at $1,157 per night

NIYAMA, +960 67 62 828, Phantasy Fairytale package starts at $883 per night

MORE: Underwater hotel room opens on remote African island

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