HUNDREDS of visitors queued in the rain to see the new Lascaux 3 exhibition which opened in Bordeaux at the weekend.
The 800sq.m exhibition at Cap Sciences shows replicas of the 17,000 year old paintings from the walls of the cave in the Dordogne. It will be on show in Bordeaux for three months before heading to Chicago.
It features five sections of the cave, including the only painting of a man in Lascaux. This painting is little known because it is a very hard-to-access part of the cave.
Organisers had to close the doors temporarily on the queues as the exhibition can only hold a maximum of 400 visitors at once.
The cave itself has been closed to visitors since 1963 after the paintings started to deteriorate.
Lascaux 3 and the permanent Lascaux 2 facsimile exhibition near the cave in Montignac are the only way to see the paintings.
A project for a Lascaux 4 exhibition to replace Lascaux 2 was dealt a severe blow recently when Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti said the state would not help fund it.
Filippetti was not at the Bordeaux opening but was in the Ardèche where plans were revealed for a replica of the Chauvet cave and its 32,000-year-old paintings to be built by 2014.
The facsimile, at Vallon Pont d'Arc, will be run by Dordogne company Kléber Rossillon, which owns the Castelnaud, Marqueyssac estates.
The Lascaux 3 exhibition at Quai de Bacalan is open until January 6. Entry is €8. More details from the website Cap Sciences