At a glance 2 min

Lascaux 4, larger than life!

Lascaux 4, larger than life!
Lascaux 4, larger than life!

Closed to the public since 1963 for conservation purposes, the Lascaux cave was entirely reconstructed in a building dedicated to parietal art. The reproduction, located in Montignac in Dordogne, lets visitors experience the cave in the same conditions as when it was discovered in 1940. A marvel of human and technological advancement! Darkness, humidity, muffled sounds, reproductions of the cave paintings - everything has been reconstructed to match the original. Lascaux is as famous for its many cave paintings as it is for its fragility and the threats to its conservation.

The cave was mapped using a laser: 50,000 ultra-high-definition photographs were taken. The cloud of points captured by the laser enabled a high fidelity 3D model of the cave to be created, a faithful reproduction that was then "dressed" using the photos. The model was then used as a reference for building the replica.
First cut into sections, the 3D model was then machined on polyester blocks. Two panels were then made: one from an elastomer and another from fibreglass. A mixture of acrylic and mineral dust was used to create the rock texture that gave the model its finished appearance.

These were all parts of a puzzle that was then assembled. Each section of the ceiling, and its paintings, was then connected to the lower part. Finally, using images of the paintings projected onto the sections, the parietal art was traced onto the walls using only natural pigments.
Inaugurated on 15 December 2016, the reproduction required three years of work, 680 frescos, 500 m² of frescos to reconstruct the entire cave down to the last millimetre. The new building cost 57 million Euros and was funded by the Aquitaine region, the General Council of the Dordogne, the European Union and the site's operator. 
Over 400,000 visitors are expected: it is one of the world's most famous prehistoric sites. The richness and diversity of its paintings made its reputation. 

From 1 November 2016 to 19 February 2017, the "Lascaux International Exhibition" settled in Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science, in Tokyo's famous Ueno park. When Lascaux touched down on Japanese soil, over a million visitors had had a chance to marvel at the exhibition in North America and Europe, and most recently in South Korea where it will remain until September 2017.

If you enjoyed this article, you'll love the next!
  • High-tech flying wing
    At a glance 1 min
    High-tech flying wing

    Among the thousands of drones that have flooded the market in recent years, one seems to stand out from the rest! Unveiled at last month's CES in Las Vegas, it is a flying wing prototype christened Di...

  • An exoskeleton for skiers
    At a glance 1 min
    An exoskeleton for skiers

    If you have knee problems or lack physical conditioning and don't want to abandon skiing, the e ski-mojo, the first exoskeleton designed for skiing is for you! Ski-Mojo, based in La Clusaz (France)...

  • An airbag for cyclists!
    At a glance 1 min
    An airbag for cyclists!

    It looks like a neck warmer, but this accessory's main purpose is ensuring cyclists' safety while providing them with a cool urban chic look. It is ergonomic, comfortable and lets you feel the wind in...