The largest rock art replica

Lascaux IV

The International Cave Painting Center at Montignac-Lascaux

Scheduled to open in summer 2016

An international competition was held to choose the best design for this new 6000m2 space, situated at the foot of the hill at Lascaux. The successful entry sees Norwegian studio Snøhetta – with offices in Oslo and New York – working alongside Bordeaux-based Duncan Lewis to manage the construction project. The Casson Mann practice is responsible for managing the scenography, with scientific advice from a steering committee chaired by Yves Coppens.
AFSP has been commissioned to make the replica cave walls.
The 900m2 of decorated walls have been produced. This is a French rock art replica on an unprecedented scale, and will now be assembled.

AFSP has implemented new production methods and fine-tuned its tools in order to pro-duce the fac-similes within an extremely tight timescale (around 30 months). We also work with world-class partners to ensure our output is the best it can be. This ensures we meet the scientific, technological and artistic challenges such an exceptional task entails.

Lascaux international exhibition

Lascaux III

Have modules, will travel

The Dordogne Département partnered with the Aquitaine Region to produce Lascaux III. This comprises 120m2 of replicas from the Lascaux cave, plus five previously unseen decorated scenes: four from the Nave and one from the Shaft.
After an appearance at Cap-Sciences, Bordeaux starting on 13 October 2012, the replicas went on a world tour starting at Chicago’s Field Museum, then to Houston and onwards to Montreal, Brussels, Paris, Geneva, various locations in Asia, South Korea and Japan before coming back to Europe.

By presenting Périgord’s heritage in the world’s top museums, Lascaux III helps to pro-mote the area far beyond its own borders.

Restoring a replica

Lascaux II

The Lascaux cave in Montignac, Périgord is one of the world’s most important decorated caves from the Upper Paleolithic era: it dates back some 17,000 years.
In 1963, the cave was closed to the public in order to prevent the steady flow of visitors damaging the cave paintings any further. In 1983 the decision was made to replicate the cave, and Lascaux II was born: it reproduces much of the original.

After three decades with 270,000 visitors a year, the walls and frescoes have greatly dete-riorated. AFSP has helped to renovate the whole of this replica in minute detail, working to restore the world’s first facsimile of a decorated cave.

Conservation and presentation in the Basque Country

The Ekain cave

Recreating the Ekain cave

The Ekain cave, at Zestoa in the Spanish Basque Country, was discovered in 1969. It contains an exceptional collection of rock art from the Upper Paleolithic era.
Ekain is famous for its Magdalenian cave paintings. These paintings remained hidden away for thousands of years, protected by the cave’s microclimate – in ideal conservation conditions.
Once the cave was discovered, the public were not allowed access so the paintings could be preserved. This meant a replica was required, close to the original site.

So AFSP was commissioned to produce a group of 6 walls (covering 260m2) to replicate the cave, and these were installed in the Ekainberri museum, Zestoa in 2007.
As they wander among the Auntzei side gallery (the goat place) and the Zaldei (the horse place), visitors can admire 70 representations of animals, including bears, bison, deer, ibex, salmon and horses. Indeed there are many horses, for instance in the large panel in the Azkenzaldei chamber or the horsehead rock in the Erdialde chamber.

Scenes from an exhibition

Panels from the cave at Niaux en Ariège

Panels from the cave at Niaux en Ariège

The cave at Niaux is one of the best-known Upper Paleolithic caves in Europe. It is home to many representative Magdalenian rock paintings of outstanding quality. The great pre-history scholar Henri Breuil counted this among the ‘six giants of prehistory’.

It remains one of the few decorated caves still open to the public.
Our workshops produced two replicas: Panel IV from the Black Hall and the Panel of Geometric Signs. These have been displayed as part of a larger exhibit at the Teverga Prehistoric Park in Spain since 2007.