The replica Grotte Chauvet

By | Category: Travel news
Grotte Chauvet

the entrance to the Grotte Chauvet

Just over a month ago, Reza wrote a story for us about his visit to the cave at Combarelles in the Dordogne. Of the two caves there, only one is open to visitors, partly due to the effects of time, the fragility of the art and tourists wanting to see it.

Believed to be the oldest cave decorated by man, the Grotte Chauvet  in the Ardeche region of France could also suffer the ravages of visitors and time but the local authorities have found a way around any potential problems. They have constructed a replica and this opens to the public on April the 25th.

The replica is an exact duplication which must have taxed the conservationists, the artists and the technicians who constructed it because as well as being the oldest site it is also the biggest.

The 1,000 drawings that adorn the walls have been faithfully copied across so, for example, the 425 animals allow us to view how man saw things like cave-bears, panthers, owls, woolly rhinoceros, mammoths, and big-cats. Interestingly, those hundreds of drawings of animals only cover fourteen different species so you can assume that these were the only sorts of animals with whom the cave artists came into contact.

The replica will allow as many people as possible to see what is as close to the original as is possible without having any long-term damage to the original whilst still allowing the conservationists and scientists to work on, study and conserve the original.

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