Experience parietal art at Lascaux 4 in the Dordogne, a reproduction of the famous prehistoric cave

Lascaux 4 opened its doors on 15 December 2016. Located at Montignac-Lascaux in the Dordogne (France), the International Centre of Parietal Art invites visitors to discover paintings on walls that were made 18 000 years ago. The copy reproduces all the accessible parts of the nearby Lascaux cave, closed to the public in 1963 because of pollution. This assault on the senses is prolonged by a cultural and interactive tour using scenographic devices that draw upon the latest image and virtual technologies. Lascaux 4 expects to attract 400 000 visitors each year. 

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With the Lascaux 4 copy, artists have perfectly reproduced the Lascaux cave ©Département 24 D Nidos With the Lascaux 4 copy, artists have perfectly reproduced the Lascaux cave ©Département 24 D Nidos

" Lascaux 4 pays tribute to the men and women who for thousands of years have cut and polished stone, shaped clay, carved and painted on the walls of the cliffs and caves. It pays tribute to the works that we have been left for tens of thousands of years, thus inviting us to reconsider our place on the planet and to consider humans not as a whole, but as a fraction of a whole, intimately linked to the living environment that surrounds them. "

Germinal Peiro, President of the Dordogne Departmental Council

Semi-buried, the building housing the International Centre of Parietal Art blends into the landscape. Made of concrete and glass, it combines aspects of monoliths and transparency. With a building area of 8.084 m2, it extends to the foot of the hill on the 6.5 hectare site. The roof has a soft broken line echoing the movement of the hill, thus embodying the notion of a geological fault. 

Unlike a museum, Lascaux 4 is an interpretation centre. Its goal is to highlight and explain a site.

The work of the Périgord reproduction workshop 

The interior of the reproduction is wet and dark, just like an authentic cave. The relief and paintings have been reproduced identically by painter-sculptors, resin workers and moulders from the Périgord reproduction workshop using a stone veil technique. At the exit of the cave experience, various digital and interactive areas allow visitors to expand their knowledge about the art and civilization of Cro-Magnon man: the Lascaux workshop to study the main panels, the parietal art theatre to discover the works of prehistorians, the cinema for a 3D trip through Lascaux and other parietal art sites in the world, or even the Imagination Gallery to explore the links between parietal art and modern art. 

Sharing the riches of Lascaux through innovative technologies

Initiated by the Department of the Dordogne, the project has brought together Europe, the government and the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine around several objectives: transforming the hill of Lascaux to improve its conservation; sharing its rich heritage with many people; promoting the dissemination of knowledge; increasing quality cultural tourism to contribute to the economic development of the Dordogne.

Technological innovation is at the heart of the visitor experience proposed by Lascaux 4. This innovation takes the form of:

  • Interactive features that allow visitors to immerse themselves in virtual reality and augmented reality experiences.
  • Each visitor is provided with a multifunctional digital "companion", allowing a connected visit: it adapts to the profile of the visitor (age, language, disabilities if appropriate) and allows the visitor to interact with the scenographic devices (via BLE technologies and Wifi).
  • A global digital strategy through the implementation of a continuous medium that provide an interface for bookings, the content presented on the "companion" tablet during the visit, and customisable content offered online after the visit.  

Lascaux 4 thus complements the site of Lascaux 2, the first reproduction opened in 1983, which will remain accessible for educational visits. There is also the so-called international exhibition Lascaux 3, which is mobile and interactive, and has been travelling the world since 2012. Thanks to Lascaux 4, the International Centre For Parietal Art, the exceptional works of the original Lascaux cave discovered in 1940 by four kids, can continue to amaze visitors from around the world.

Total investment and EU funding

A total of EUR 57 000 000 was invested in the Lascaux 4 project. The European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 12 000 000 under the ERDF/ESF operational programme 2014-2020 for the region of Aquitaine for the 2014-2020 programming period. 

Draft date

15/12/2017