French cave art from 20,000 years ago

Updated 2017-11-02 09:31:57 Shanghai Daily
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A visitor yesterday snaps the “Panel of Black Cow,” one of the replica artworks from the Lascaux caves. (Wang Rongjiang)

A visitor yesterday snaps the "Panel of Black Cow," one of the replica artworks from the Lascaux caves. (Wang Rongjiang)

An exhibition of replicas from an ancient French cave complex that include wall engravings and paintings made its debut in China at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum yesterday.

This exhibition runs until February 28. The paintings are estimated to have been done by Cro-magnon people about 20,000 years ago.

Life-size copies of five major works from the Lascaux cave complex are displayed at the exhibition hall — the images are mostly about animals, one of them a 5-meter-long "Panel of Black Cow," showing a cow moving by a group of horses. Oxen are seen in many of the Lascaux paintings.

Another painting, "Panel of the Crossed Bison," depicts two bulls standing rump to rump. Some say it indicates a duel between the two fighters for their beloved one before the copulation season.

The Lascaux paintings were discovered by chance in 1940 by a teenaged boy and his friends when the boy's dog fell into the cave. They are considered as one of the most remarkable works of Paleolithic cave art.

Lascaux was closed to the public by French government in April 1963 for fear of the artworks being damaged, and replicas were made via laser scanning and 3D model technology. Lascaux was inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1979.

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