The Cave Paintings of the Lascaux Cave

Lascaux Cave Symposium Conclusions



lascaux cave art paintings france
Large Black Stag
Photograph N. Aujoulat (2003) © MCC-CNP
The Symposium "Lascaux and preservation issues in a subterranean environment" has generated huge interest, including in the press: out of the 267 registered participants, 21 were journalists. It has also sparked international interest: other than France, seventeen countries from all continents were represented (South Africa, Germany, Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Spain, United States, Italy, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Portugal, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Zambia).

The Symposium purported to be "open", since anyone could register on-line and freely participate if they wanted to. The sheer number and diversity of participants show that it was truly a great success. The sessions (including debates) were perfectly bilingual (English and French), thanks to simultaneous translation.

After these two particularly rich and dense days, my synthesis will focus on three main points: the development of the Symposium; the official announcements and main results; recommendations for the future.

The development of the Symposium

Firstly, I would like the Presidents of the sessions and the participants to excuse my stringency regarding the schedule. It had to be strict and as such it was. Contrary to what happens in most meetings of this type, we began each session right on time and all communications remained within the given time frame. This was a necessary condition so that the debates could last just as long as the presentations, whether questions were asked on all topics or diverse opinions were shared and discussion then followed. I would like to thank wholeheartedly all participants for their consented efforts. In fact, each person took it so much to heart not to exceed their half hour of communication that we were left with extra time (approximately one hour and a half in total) for the debates...

lascaux cave art paintings france
Third Chinese Horse
Photograph N. Aujoulat (2003) © MCC-CNP
The presentations, which can be viewed on-line, were focused on the main elements of the preservation of Lascaux and the decorated caves, as well as on the history of Lascaux, the problems faced, measures taken and the current condition of the cave. Our colleagues from other countries, either speakers (Japan, Spain), or expert special guests (South Africa, Germany, Australia, United States, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Czech Republic), brought valued comparisons and shed different light on the topic. In fact, if the preservation of cave art is a shared issue and if there are so many threats to this essential heritage, there are many problems and solutions and we can only learn from each other.

The many accounts given during and after the Symposium prove that the high quality of communication, along with the freedom and richness of the debates were recognized and appreciated. This meeting therefore satisfied its objective. All the facts regarding Lascaux were clearly presented, including the mistakes made. The debates went as planned, without concession or stonewalling, in complete transparency, whether it was with the decision-making process, the events which occurred, analyses carried out, obstacles or difficulties faced or perspectives for the future.

If it is obvious that not everything has been settled, that the sickness is not yet cured and that the Symposium could not bring a miracle cure, we can only hope that the misunderstandings which may have existed about the events of the last few years will be cleared up for those who really care about one thing: saving Lascaux.


Lascaux Cave Introduction
Lascaux Cave Paintings Symposium | Page | 1 | 2 |
Lascaux Cave Symposium Conclusions
Lascaux Cave Symposium Results
Lascaux Cave Paintings - The Future

France Rock Art Archive

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