The region of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’azur has announced that the replica of the Cosquer cave would open its doors to the public in June 2022, to Marseille. The region hopes to attract at least 500,000 visitors per year. Sis in the House of the Mediterranean, near the MuCEM, the site will reconstitute this same “Lascaux” sub-marine”, a true gem of rock art.

The Cosquer cave, located in the heart of the national Park of the calanques, near Marseille, is the only underwater cave decorated with paintings paleolithic in the world. The entrance of the cave 37 metres below the surface of the sea off the coast of the calanque de Morgiou, had been discovered as early as 1985 by the diving helmet were destroyed Henri Cosquer. His exploration had, however, taken place in September 1991 and had revealed a single site of paintings and rock engravings.

animals sub-marine scientists have counted 142 paintings of land animals. DRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’azur

analyses of the site had emerged twelve dates to authenticate the works and identify two periods in which they were painted: a group of works there are about 19,000 years ago, another there are some 27,000 years. The scientists had counted 142 engravings or paintings of land animals, among which 48 horses, bison, aurochs, ibexes, etc more rare, about a tenth of the figure represents the marine animals: penguins, seals, fish, octopus…

Painted there are about 27.000 years, 55 hands, negative (drawn with a stencil) or positive (coated with pigment and applied on the rock), adorn a long corridor leading to a large well now drowned. At the time, the cave was not submerged: the mer was 4 or 5 miles away. The painters were then able to access it without difficulty.

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today, it is precisely the access difficult to the cave that provides the draft reply. Initially, the idea

which Is rare, about one-tenth of the figure represents the marine animals: penguins, seals, fish, octopus… DRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’azur

had been suggested in December 2016, when Christian Estrosi (LR) was the head of the Paca region. And if, during the campaign of the regional of 2015, the current mayor of Nice was initially contracted to sell the Villa in the Mediterranean, it was there that he had chosen, once elected, to install the duplicate copy of the Cosquer cave. What legitimize the existence of this place much maligned.

Erected by the Paca region, while it was chaired by the socialist Michel Vauzelle and inaugurated in 2013, the Villa Méditerranée has never found an actual vocation. In 2017, the regional chamber of accounts had pinned the place. In question, the “costs not controlled”, having more than tripled – from 20 million to 62 million euros in the construction of the building, as well as the amount of “extremely low” of its operating revenue.

The business delegate, in charge of creating the replica of the cave and then to exploit it in the framework of a 25-year concession, will be appointed by the regional council in plenary assembly on 16 October. In the press release of the Paca region, its chairman Renaud Muselier said that he will submit to a vote the choice of the Kléber Rossillon society, already the holder of the exploitation of the replica of the Chauvet cave, in the Ardèche.

This project will be funded to the tune of 10 million euros by the region, Kléber Rossillon bringing his side to 13 million euros in the project, said the release of the region. What to do bring to the surface the sunken treasure of Cosquer.

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