More on Lascaux

photo: wiki commons
from Lascaux – Le Puit (The Well) has had a site update on Lascaux. All the info you could want is here (in french) including a precise history of the mould attacks (but not with the accompanying/precedent preservation actions).

La ministre de la Culture Christine Albanel s’est rendue sur place le 25 juillet 2008 pour visiter brièvement la grotte. Soulignant l’importance de la régulation de l’air dans la grotte, elle a annoncé le changement du système de climatisation installé en 2000. Elle a par ailleurs envisagé l’élargissement du Comité scientifique à d’autres experts, notamment étrangers [14].

(The Minister of Culture Christine Albanel visited in person the cave breiefly 25 July 2008. Underlining the importance of regulating the air quality in the cave, she announced the changing of the climatisation system installed in 2000. She also foresees the enlrgement of the Scientific Commitee to include other experts, including foreigners. – my translation).

You can find a detailed account from The Art Preservationist in Chief here:

  Lascaux : la rechute
Marie-Anne Sire
Conservateur en chef des monuments historiques, chef de projet chargée e la coordination des travaux à Lascaux


Adapted from an article in Time Magazine, 2006/5/29 by James Graff









The fusarium fungus, inset, has spread from the floors to some paintings, such as this horse in the Main Gallery, pictured in 2005; restorers now remove the growths by hand.
Photo: CG Dordogne; LRMH (inset)



I see that Renaud Sanson’s Lascaux III (with Monique Peytral’s paintings , who BTW then went on to paint animals in her own personal style – I exhibited with her once) is going to Le Thot this May.(source : Jérôme Glaize, Article L’expo transférée, Journal Sud Ouest, édition Périgueux, du 27 février 2009).

Le Thot is the open air educational site near Lascaux (& Lascaux II) which has lots of good info about life in prehisto times. Fibre glass mamouths & that kind of thing. My four year old boy loved his visit. All in good educational taste. Difficult to imagine how mass tourism could be different. Lascaux III has 270 000 visitors each year! The internet site, Lascaux II & III, Le Thot are good entry level education/experience. A night sleeping under the stars with bears balloo-ing would be more auhentic, closer to life circa 18 000 BC.


The Abandoned Cradle’ (Sergeac, Dordgne),
43 x 36cm.
© Adam Cope