Art And Culture

Giant Replica of Prehistoric Site to Open in France

Giant Replica of Prehistoric Site to Open in FranceGiant Replica of Prehistoric Site to Open in France

A giant replica of France’s 36,000-year-old ‘Grotte Chauvet’, home to 1,000 prehistoric animal cave-drawings, was inaugurated by President François Hollande on Friday, after three years of construction.

The largest perfect replica of a prehistoric site in Europe, the monumental space is around seven kilometers from the original site in the Ardeche region of southern France, which UNESCO said contains “the earliest known figurative drawings in the world.”

A team of engineers, sculptors, painters and artists used high-tech methods, like a 3D technique developed using digital scanners, to achieve results as close as possible to the original cave, sealed off for millennia before its discovery in 1994, France24 reported.

Visitors descend via a long ramp into caverns that are climatised to replicate the original environment.

The 1,000 animal drawings include bears, woolly rhinoceroses, cats, panthers and lions, all recreated using charcoal, the same material used by the original Aurignacian people who lived about 30,000 years ago.

The project cost about $58 million, and is expected to draw around 350,000 visitors each year.

The ‘Grotte Chauvet’ replica will open to the public on April 25.