Cosquer Méditerranée: A Treasure Of Cave Art In Marseille

Notice to prehistory and cave art lovers: an exceptional new cultural site has just opened its doors in Marseille on June 4, 2022! Cosquer Méditerranée is a replica of the Cosquer cave to be discovered in the Villa Méditerranée, a stone's throw from the Mucem.

An ornate cave in danger

The Cosquer Cave was discovered in 1985 in the calanques of Marseille by diver Henri Cosquer.

This ornate cave is an archaeological rarity rich with more than 500 works of cave art. Its walls are decorated with an incredible bestiary where we recognize bison, horses but also penguins and seals! The representations of animals rub shoulders with handprints, drawings and engravings.

But this exceptional site, whose entrance is located at 37 m under the sea, is almost inaccessible. Not only is its access reserved for experienced divers, but the engulfment of the cave is also inevitable in the more or less long term, due to the rise of the waters.

This is why the preservation of this site of universal interest appeared as an emergency. The virtual rescue of this cave, sometimes called the underwater Lascaux, was carried out by the Kléber Rossillon group using state-of-the-art techniques. It was this specialized company that brought to life Cosquer Méditerranée, a remarkably faithful replica.

A scientific and technological adventure

The Cosquer cave is a cave art site whose universal interest is linked to the length of occupation of the site in the Upper Paleolithic and the richness and diversity of engravings and paintings that have been found.

These 513 paintings and engravings were made between 30,000 years and 19,000 years before our era and constitute a priceless treasure, unfortunately doomed to disappear.

Due to the geographical location of the cave at 37 m depth and the threat of erasure of its cave paintings, it was urgent to ensure the preservation of this exceptional heritage.

The Kléber Rossillon group was chosen to carry out this rescue, using state-of-the-art techniques, expertise and artistic gestures.

Before working on the Cosquer Méditerranée restitution, this company has acquired extensive experience in this field, managing 11 cultural and tourist sites, including the Chauvet 2 cave in Ardèche.

An immersive visit for all audiences

The brand new Cosquer Méditerranée cultural site, which opened its doors on June 4, 2022, was designed to welcome the general public and schoolchildren.

Whether you are a prehistory or scuba diving enthusiast or a simple tourist passing through, you can discover the history of this cave and admire a wonderful replica of this masterpiece of cave art.

You won't need to dive with fins and snorkel to enter the Cosquer Cave and go on a journey to discover this sunken treasure. A 220 m long public tour awaits you in the Villa Méditerranée in Marseille.

Even if the facsimile of the cave is smaller than the original cave (1750 m² instead of 2200 m²), all the works are faithfully reproduced. You will be able to admire paintings and engravings to which only scientists and professional divers had access until now.

You can also learn more about the history of the cave and life in Marseille during the Paleolithic, in the Mediterranean gallery.

This new cultural site in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region plans to welcome an average of 500,000 visitors per year. The Villa Cosquer Mediterranean could even receive more this year for the opening of the site.

This museum like no other, which is more precisely a prehistoric interpretation center, is located near the Old Port of Marseille a stone's throw from the Mucem.

Find all the practical information on the official website of the Cosquer cave (link below).

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Stefano Boeri - Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Tags: cave, Marseille, cave art, Cosquer Cave, Kléber, Mediterranean, stone, prehistory, Old port, brand, scuba diving, Fins, snorkel, Facsimile, faithfully, professional divers, Paleolithic, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, région, prehistoric, Ardèche, Chauvet, restitution, calanques, diver, archaeological, bestiary, seals, divers, engulfment, virtual, underwater, Lascaux, Upper Paleolithic, cave paintings, heritage, MuCEM,
More informations:
In French: Cosquer Méditerranée : un trésor d'art pariétal à Marseille
En español: Cosquer Méditerranée: un tesoro de arte rupestre en Marsella
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