Mexico City, Mexico - Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has just added a new asset to his business and entertainment empire - a 5,000 marine animal aquarium. Aquarium Inbursa, inaugurated on May 30th, features 230 species of sea life and occupies 11,500 square feet in Mexico City.
During the inauguration by Mexico City’s Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera - accompanied by the world’s second richest man and Alejandro Nasta, the aquarium’s director - Slim said that the aquarium will offer entertainment, culture, employment, housing, and a better quality of life for what was previously a derelict area of the city.
Mancera pointed out that the aquarium, which will open to the public on June 10th, and has an entree fee of around $10, and is not only the largest in Mexico, but one of the largest in the world, comparable to those in Atlanta, Shanghai, Dubai, and London.
Located in Colonia Polanco, an upscale neighborhood that is home to gleaming office towers largely built by Slim, and across the street from his Soumaya art museum, the aquarium represents an investment of $19.25 million.
The building, which was designed by Fernando Romero, Slim’s architect son-in-law, is a five-level triangular structure. All the levels, with the exception of one, are underground. The media was invited to tour the site where the visitors took an elevator underground to start the tour at a 400,000-gallon glass tank with blue, yellow, orange, and green, fish swimming among sharks and manta rays.
On another floor there were several types of jellyfish and a separate massive fish tank housing piranhas, crocodiles, and tiny turtles. There is also a small lagoon where visitors can touch rays.
There are five fish tanks with a total volume of 1.6 million gallons. The water was brought from the Mexican coastal state of Veracruz, and the sand from Florida.
Nasta said that he hopes the aquarium will eventually become home to as many as 10,000 marine animals belonging to 307 different species, including penguins, which are among the main attractions that have not yet been brought to the aquarium.
A day before the formal inauguration, the Mexican press reported that Slim, along with sons Hector and Marco Antonio, and son-in-law Arturo Elias Ayub, led a private tour for a select group of Mexican businessmen.
Aquarium Inbursa is Slim’s second major entertainment project. In 2011, Slim opened Soumaya Museum (named after his late wife,) which holds 66,000 works of art by some of the best known European artists from the 15th through the 20th century. With over one million international visitors in its first year, the Soumaya Museum – which does not charge an entrance fee – has been a success despite its initial critical reception.Original Story