Lonely Planet Writer

Replica of Unesco World Heritage prehistoric Chauvet cave opens in France

A replica of a cave painting found in the Chauvet Cave.
A replica of a cave painting found in the Chauvet Cave. Image by EOL Learning and Education Group / CC BY 2.0

Grotte Chauvet in the Ardeche region of France is a 36,000 year old cave that was granted Unesco World Heritage status in 2014. The prehistoric cave, discovered in 1994,  is home to some of the world’s oldest figurative cave drawings and was preserved for 20,000 years as the entrance was blocked by fallen rocks. A team of scientists took two and half years to make a replica of the cave so that the reproduction is as authentic as the original as possible – including humidity levels, smell and the stalactites and stalagmites. The cave drawings have been reproduced with charcoal using 3D imaging and sculptors, painters and engineers working on them. Visitors will be able to see over 1000 drawings. The replica grotto, now open to the public, is located 1km from the original site and was built at a cost of €55 million.

Read more: thelocal.fr