After decades closed for conservation reasons, Spain prehistoric cave art stays open to lucky few
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, July 19, 2024

After decades closed for conservation reasons, Spain prehistoric cave art stays open to lucky few
Painting of a bison in the cave of Altamira. Photo: Rameessos/

MADRID (AFP).- A cave in Spain containing some of the world's most precious prehistoric art will stay open for trial visits after decades closed for conservation reasons, officials said Friday.

Experts who launched small trial viewings in February at the Altamira cave to see whether the ancient paintings could withstand the breath and germs of visitors have now decided to extend them, the culture ministry said.

Renowned for its 14,000-year-old paintings of red bison, the cave closed in 2002 for fear that moisture and microscopic fungi introduced by visitors would ruin the prehistoric paint.

This year's trial visits of small groups showed "no relation of cause and effect between the presence of researchers and visitors... and the loss of pigment", the ministry said in a statement.

Experts have now decided to continue letting five visitors per week into the cave until next February in order to monitor the effect on the ancient masterpieces over a year, it said.

The highlight of the cave is a set of paintings, at least 14,000 years old, of red and yellow bison plus horses, deer, humans with the heads of animals and mysterious symbols.

UNESCO listed the paintings as a World Heritage Site in 1985, describing them as "masterpieces of creative genius and... humanity's earliest accomplished art".

The cave was discovered in 1868 at Santillana del Mar in Spain's northern Cantabria region.

During the closure, visitors have had to make do with replicas of the paintings, with only scientists allowed into the cave to carry out research.

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

September 13, 2014

In its fourth edition, ArtRio 2014 positions Brazil in the international art circuit

Sotheby's announces details of its sales series for Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon

Studies in The Human Condition: Sotheby's to sell important group of prints by Edvard Munch

Sotheby's to offer one of the most iconic works by Georgia O'Keeffe ever to appear at auction

The first annual 'International HOPE Day' is set to kick off with events in New York, Munich, Miami and Maine

Two concurrent exhibitions devoted to the work of Ai Weiwei open in New York City

Large-scale survey of Korean monochromatic paintings from the 60s to the 80s opens at Blum & Poe

After decades closed for conservation reasons, Spain prehistoric cave art stays open to lucky few

Exhibition featuring Mike Kelley's ink and collage works on paper created in 1989 opens at Skarstedt

Kitfox Experimental: A site-specific installation by Roman Signer opens at KINDL-Centre for Contemporary Art

First United Kingdom solo show of works by Korean artist Lee Bul opens at Ikon Gallery

The Brooklyn Museum presents 'Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe'

Close Surrounding: Swedish photographer JH Engström opens exhibition at Foam

Fine Art Asia presents its strongest collection of museum-quality fine art and antiques for its 10th edition

Exhibition analyses forms of everyday violence that are barely perceptible

Galerie Greta Meert's fourth solo exhibition by Louise Lawler opens in Brussels

Pierre Huyghe's first exhibition with Hauser & Wirth opens in London

Kunsthal Rotterdam opens a major exhibition of the work of Rudolf Steiner

Luxury, Colour, Texture: The Estate of David Collins to be offered at Christie's King Street on 4 November

The Fine Art Society announces 'Nemora', the first solo show for the newly signed British artist Juliette Losq

"Michaël Borremans: As sweet as it gets' opens at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

U.S. premiere of Israeli artist Dani Gal's new video installation at the Jewish Museum

A research project by Ines Doujak and Oliver Ressler on view at the Secession in Vienna

Georgia Museum of Art opens two new exhibitions

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful