March 5, 2014 — The Montréal Science Centre is hosting The Cave of Lascaux – Prehistoric Masterpieces, a travelling exhibition created by the Department of Dordogne, France. The show has already welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors in the United States, all wanting to learn more about the UNESCO World Heritage site that can’t be visited by the general public, but contains some of the most informative Upper Paleolithic art in the world.
The Lascaux cave complex was opened to the masses in 1948, but, by 1955, the carbon dioxide produced by over a thousand visitors per day had begun to damage the cave’s 200-century-old paintings. The site was closed to the public in 1963 to preserve the art, and the paintings were restored to their former state. Lascaux II, a replica of two halls of the original cave, was opened in 1983, just 200 metres away from its prototype.
The Cave of Lascaux – Prehistoric Masterpieces offers visitors the chance to see life-sized reproductions of works that had never been duplicated before. Meanwhile, videos, prehistoric artifacts, and interactive stations explain the conditions under which these paintings were executed and provide for a better understanding of how prehistoric humans lived some 20,000 years ago.