A Look Inside the New Museum for World’s Most Famous Cave Paintings
The 20,000-year-old Lascaux Caves now have a touch of the modern. Snøhetta Architects revealed photos of the new interactive museum being built at the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Montignac, France.
Lascaux IV International Centre for Cave Art is a stylish trip through the cave’s history and the closest look that visitors can get at the “Sistine Chapel of Prehistory.” The Lascaux Caves were discovered in 1940, but eventually were closed to the public after overexposure caused them to deteriorate.
Instead, visitors to the museum are treated to an exact replica of the caves burrowed inside its geometric 122,700-square-foot home. Snøhetta said the museum is designed to evoke the experience of discovering the caves for the first time.
Upon arrival, visitors are treated to a stunning view of the Vezere Valley in the museum’s lobby before descending a slope towards the cave facsimile, created through 3D laser scanning and casting.
After the museum was finished, a team of 25 artists spent two years recreating the 2,000 artworks by hand with the same pigments the prehistoric painters used, according to Architizer.
The end of the cave opens up into a transition space before visitors move on the interactive portion of the museum.