French cave paintings on exhibit in Chicago

Source:AFP Published: 2013-3-21 18:23:01


Reproduction of Lascaux cave painting Photo:IC
Reproduction of Lascaux cave painting Photo:IC

Stunning reproductions of the famed cave paintings of Lascaux are being displayed for the first time outside of France at an exhibit in Chicago opening Wednesday.

Meticulously copied to the millimeter, these full-sized replicas are one of the only ways to see these images, since the cave was closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the ancient masterpieces.

The dimly lit gallery allows visitors to imagine they are walking through the cave as they stand beneath rugged panels and marvel at how cave dwellers used the contours of the stone walls to add perspective and depth to the images.

"With a global treasure like Lascaux you can't egotistically keep it to yourself," said French Senator Bernard Cazeau, president of the Conseil General of Dordogne, which organized the traveling exhibit. "Plenty of people are unable to come to Dordogne to see our museum and so - thanks to new technology - I thought we could bring Lascaux to the world," he told AFP.

"Certainly some who see the exhibit will want to discover more about Lascaux."

The museum in Lascaux currently only displays about half of the cave's nearly 2,000 paintings, but it is working on expanding to a full reproduction, to open in 2016.

Discovered in 1940 by four boys exploring a deep depression caused by a falling tree near Montignac, the Lascaux caves have been described as the Sistine Chapel of prehistoric art.

More than a million people flocked to southwestern France to explore Lascaux before it was closed to the public and 10 million have visited the reproduction which opened in 1983.

Posted in: ARTS

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