What materials are used?

The replica is made of pneumatically placed landscape mortar and resin. These two materials are good for artwork that involves a great deal of technical skill, which is required for this kind of cultural site.

The ceilings, walls and floors are made of landscape mortar, which is perfect for modelling and sculpting large volumes. The finishing mortar, or the second layer, enables the artists to sculpt, engrave, and paint the decor in order to completely imitate clay (granular or smooth) and limestone.

Les scupteurs de AAB-Cofex-Freyssinet réalisent un travail de création remarquable - @ Grand Projet La Caverne du Pont-d'Arc

The AAB-Cofex-Freyssinet sculptors building a remarkable creation – © Grand Projet La Caverne du Pont-d’Arc

All the calcite components and concretions are made with concrete, as well as epoxy resin. The resin is full of glass powder or crushed glass. It may look glittery, crystallised, or translucent. This is typical of the underground environment.

Painters produce the cave paintings based on digital readings of the original cave, with paint and patinas made of natural pigments and binders. The colours do not alter with time, as they seep into the walls like the pigments that prehistoric man used on limestone walls.

As for the digital traces and engraved panels, the last layer is composed of fine mortar, finished off with a retardant that helps to keep the wall damp while the outlines are being made.