Unesco Threatens to Put Lascaux Caves on Endangered List

This is the first part of the big art story here in SW France. You can read part two here:


International Symposium ‘Lascaux & Preservation in Underground Settings’- The Paintings of Lascaux under Serious Risk


La Grotte de Lascaux – The official website of Lacaux, graciously published by the French Government, just stunning!!!

Here is the big art story of SW France . Lascaux painted caves are apparently under a second wave of fungus attack. It has been in danger for six years now. UNESCO served the French Government (the legal custodians of lascaux) with a six month warning at comes to date this Feburary. This month.

It’s difficult to know the truth as we aren’t specialists & don’t know the caves.

It’s difficult to explain the passion & love there is for these painted caves here in the Dordogne. The French Government has done so much wonderful work in preserving so much culture. ‘Les Grands Hommes des Lettres et des Arts’…. L’Abbé Breuil at Lascaux, André Malraux in Sarlat, Violet le Duc in Carcassonne….

But it would be a great catastrophe if humanity were to loose one of our great jewels of our common heritage.


“Fungicides and antibiotics used in multiple and ineffective massive sprayings inside the cave.”

“The International Committee for the Preservation of Lascaux (ICPL) continues to call for a truly independent, non-government sponsored international council of scientists and experts in cave art and its conservation to monitor and report to the world on Lascaux and its health.” http://www.savelascaux.org/

QUEBEC CITY—Unesco has threatened to put the Lascaux caves in France on its “List of World
Heritage in Danger” if the French government does not make headway by next February in its treatment of gray and black fungi in danger of destroying the site’s 17,000-year-old images.

France, which has experimented with various climate control systems, lighting, and fungicides over the years, admitted last week that though a current treatment with fungicide had appeared to be working, the mold seems to be spreading again.

International experts have disagreed on the best way to preserve the works for years. Last fall, an independent body, the International Committee for the Protection of Lascaux, infuriated the French government by asking Unesco, meeting this week in Quebec, to intervene. But Laurence Léauté-Beasley, president of the committee, was jubilant yesterday. “The requirements placed upon France [by Unesco] are significant and strong,” she said. “France will now have to answer to the world community for actions they have taken in the past and will take in the future.”



La Grotte de Lascaux – Amazing official site of Lacaux, graciously published by the French Government, just stunning!!!


Protecting the Wonders of the World – TIME, July 11 2008

Les taches noires de Lascaux – -Nouvelle Observateur, 14 Fev 2008

15 December 2007
Fungus once again threatens Lascaux cave paintings — Stone Pages, Archeo News

A web page of some of my art relating to prehistory here in SW France :Prehistoric Cave Art : a contemporary artist’s personal response

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