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Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves in southwestern France famous for its cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac, in the Dordogne département. They contain some of the most well-known (Upper Paleolithic) art, dating back to somewhere between 15,000 and 13,000 BC. They consist mostly of realistic images of large animals, including aurochs, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. They were added to UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1979.
The cave was discovered on 12 September 1940 by four teenagers, Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas. Public access was made easier after World War II. By 1955, the carbon dioxide produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings. The cave was closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the art. After the cave was closed, the paintings were restored to their original state, and are now monitored on a daily basis. Rooms in the cave include The Great Hall of the Bulls, the Lateral Passage, the Shaft of the Dead Man, the Chamber of Engravings, the Painted Gallery, and the Chamber of Felines.
Lascaux II, a replica of two of the cave halls - the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery - was opened in 1983. Reproductions of other Lascaux artwork can be seen at the Centre of Prehistoric Art at Le Thot, France.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Lascaux
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