Wonders of Rock Art: Lascaux Cave and Africa exhibition opens at Sci-Bono

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Schoolchildren at the opening of the Wonders of Rock Art: Lascaux Cave and Africa exhibition with Sci-Bono CEO Dr More Chikane (right) and Kaya FM's David O' Sullivan. (Image: Flow Communications)

Imagine being inside a dark cave filled with thousands of paintings of horses, reindeers and fantastical beasts, where animals dance over one another in a mystery from Palaeolithic times that scientists still don't fully understand.

Come and experience the intrigue and magic yourself at Wonders of Rock Art: Lascaux Cave and Africa, an exhibition that opened today at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg.

The Palaeolithic cave paintings, found in 1940 in the Lascaux cave near the village of Montignac in Dordogne, south-western France, are around 17 000 years old and are mostly of large animals native to the region at the time. They are regarded as masterpieces because of their outstanding quality and sophistication.

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The Wonders of Rock Art: Lascaux Cave and Africa exhibition is currently on at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg. (Image: Flow Communications)

This is the first time that French rock art and African rock art have been displayed side by side in Africa – the replica of the French cave is accompanied by a local exhibit titled The Dawn of Art, so-named because researchers know that art originated here in Africa. Southern Africa is home to some of the oldest art in the world, dating back to over 70 000 years.

Entry to the exhibition is R130 for adults and R70 for children, or you can pay R360 for a family ticket (two adults and two children). Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm; and Saturday to Sunday, 9am to 4.30pm. The exhibition runs from 17 May to 1 October 2018. Find out more at www.sci-bono.co.za.

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Detail of a reindeer. (Image: Flow Communications)
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An artist's model of an early human who may have made the art. (Image: Flow Communications)
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His Excellency Christophe Farnaud, French ambassador to South Africa, leaves his thumbprint on an interactive display at the exhibition. (Image: Flow Communications)
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Some original South African rock art is on display, such as this engraving of a hartebeest, found near Rustenburg in the North West province. (Image: Flow Communications)
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The Lascaux cave is reproduced in extraordinary detail – you feel as you are actually in the cave. The real Lascaux rock art site is closed to the public. (Image: Flow Communications)
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A lifelike model of what a Palaeolithic child living 17 000 years ago in what is now France may have looked like. (Image: Flow Communications)