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Dordogne (24)



Six months to save Lascaux

Today's Independent* reports that -

"Unesco, the world cultural body, has threatened to humiliate France by placing the Lascaux caves – known as the "Sistine Chapel of prehistory" – on its list of endangered sites of universal importance.

"The Unesco world heritage committee, meeting this week in Quebec, has given the French government six months to report on the success of its efforts to save the Lascaux cave paintings in Dordogne from an ugly, and potentially destructive, invasion of grey and black fungi.

"There are already 31 sites on the Unesco "List of World Heritage in Danger", including such treasures as the ancient Buddha statues of the Bamiyan valley in Afghanistan, partly destroyed by the Taliban. Only one of the existing, officially threatened sites is in western Europe – the architectural heritage of the Dresden-Elbe valley in eastern Germany, site of a planned motorway. A decision by the Unesco committee to list Lascaux as "endangered" would, therefore, be a severe embarrassment to France. Unesco would, in effect, be telling Paris that it can no longer be trusted to manage one of the world's most important historical and cultural treasures."

Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
12th July 2008ce
Edited 15th June 2009ce

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