Lascaux International Scientific Thinktank

                                                                                   Last update: April 2, 2012
Tête de vache à Lascaux

Independent scientists and personalities originating from diverse horizons and concerned by the proliferation in the cave of Lascaux since the begining of the last decade of various microorganisms likely to damage its paintings, mobiized themselves to offer the public and the administration a critical, scientific and independent point of view.

Worried by the absence of information on the real situation of the cavity and by the apparent inadequacy of the measures taken by the authorities in charge of resolving the crisis, they spontaneously gathered to conduct a reflection on the curative and preventive measures likely to arrest the microbial proliferation.

In January 2009, they created the LIST because they were convinced that a multidisciplinary approach involving "hard sciences" like microbiology (bacteriology, mycology, biofilms), physics, chemistry, climatology and physical-chemistry, conducted independently from the administration which remains responsible for making the decisions and implementing them, is the only way to identify the real causes of microorganism proliferation in the cave and to propose the most adapted curative measures to treat it.

Between March and September 2009, on request of the Direction of the Heritage at the Ministry of Culture and Communication, three LIST members interacted extensively with this administration to help it in defining the role, mode of action, and composition of the new Scientific Council that the minister was planning to establish.

The official nomination in February 2010 of a new Scientific Council in charge of the conservation of Lascaux opened a new chapter in the cave's history. Nevertheless, the LIST considers that this new council does not present all the characteristics needed for a multidisciplinary and independent (vis a vis the administration) work. This is why the LIST considers appropriate to pursue its mission.

The mission the LIST has confered upon itself is to mobilize all members of the scientific community apt to contribute to a scientific thinking on the preservation of Lascaux, to animate a common reflection, and to make its results available to all interested parties (Ministry of Culture, Direction of the Heritage, Lascaux Scientific Council, UNESCO, ICOMOS, ICCROM, media, ICPL and other associations for the preservation of Lascaux, ...).

The LIST acts in full independence, on a voluntary basis, with the sole aim of preserving the unique cultural and artistic heritage constituted by the paintings and engravings of the Lascaux cave.

           LATEST NEWS !!!

         - Search for a lower subterranean network
           in the Lascaux karst
April 2, 2012
         - An interesting article on the state of
            the cave and its paintings
March 8, 2012       
           - Publication of the reports on the
             microbiology studies on Lascaux
March 1, 2012
           - Publication of the Proceedings of the
              Lascaux Symposium (February 2009)
January 18, 2012
  - Should the "Lascaux Simulator" be
                                                       January 9 2012
            - Any news about the microbes ?
January 5, 2012

            - News from Lascaux: a translucid or
              transparent scientific council ?
December 30 2011


            - Archives of latest news

              History (in French)

              LIST charter

              LIST members

              Scientific documentation

              Pending questions (in French)

              Contact us