Casson Mann creates a ‘journey of discovery and inspiration’ for Lascaux’s new International Centre for Parietal Art, France.

On 15th December the new International Centre for Parietal Art (Centre International de l’Art Parietal de Montignac-Lascaux – CIAPM) opens in Dordogne, France.

More than a visual record of Lascaux’s extraordinary parietal art – one of the most extensive and sophisticated cave complexes in the world – the new centre features an interactive gallery experience that blends art, history and culture with intelligence and sensitivity.

Created by British world leading exhibition design firm Casson Mann, this new centre marries the mystery of Paleolithic artistry with 21C technology in a series of stunning galleries, housed within the contemporary purpose built centre, by Norwegian architect firm, Snøhetta and Duncan Lewis Scape Architecture.

“We have sought to take visitors on a journey of discovery that begins with a faithful recreation of the cave complex and continues with a series of interpretive galleries”, says Dinah Casson, creative director of the project. “Our aim has been to maintain the wonder that these extraordinary paintings inspire, telling the story of their origin as it is known, and of the cave’s discovery in 1940”.

 At the heart of the experience is a life sized state of the art facsimile cave complex that reveals the wonders of Lascaux as they were first seen. The caves themselves have been closed to the public since 1963, and this is the most authentic recreation of the interior to date – only recently possible due to advances in 3D mapping and casting technology. Authenticity has been key to the project, and the paintings themselves have been reproduced by artists, specialising in Paleolithic techniques.

To allow further enjoyment of the cave art, eight of the most significant paintings have been recreated as life size 3d mapped and cast fragments. Suspended within an atrium, these invite inspection using a digital device that enables visitors to access layers of information in the form of Augmented reality overlays, text,animation and video. 

Further galleries explore Lascaux’s discovery, the history of the painted cave complex and the artists and techniques used, as far as is known, how it compares to other cave art sites around the world and concludes with a digital gallery in which the cultural influence of cave art is traced through the 20th century. 

View the full Press Kit here: lascaux-iv-press-kit


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