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France : Visitors can visit Lascaux caves after decades, but in virtual reality

Nearly six decades ago France’s prehistoric lacrosse escapes were made off limits.

But now visitors will be again able to enjoy the tour and sight the only time in virtual reality. The lacoste cave network discovered in 1940 by a boy whose dog fell down a hole contains paintings of animals, human figures and abstract signs that date back as far as 17,000 years it was close to the public in 1963. After the carbon dioxide heat and humidity of nearly 2,000 visitors a day began damaging the paintings. But now thanks to virtual reality the caves are back in view at the start of the project.

We acquired a set of 3d data of the lasko cave collected during several digitalization campaigns. This data was then integrated into the software that they developed here in this research lab and using this data and the software they built the different steps of this visit from july 8th. Groups of six people wearing virtual reality headsets will be able to take a 45 minutes tour through the 235 meter long cave network dubbed the sistine chapel of the prehistoric era. The interest of this wizard is to show things that cannot be easily reproduced in a printout notably to sectors that are still unseen by the public the well sector that is entirely reproduced. Most importantly the flyme’s gallery and the philly’s cabinet which even when the actual cave was open to the public. No one could access because you needed to find your way through very narrow passages in 1979. several decorated caves of the Vizier valley including the lacrosse cave were added to the Unesco world heritage sites list.

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