Spain to reopen Altamira caves with prehistoric paintings, despite scientists' warnings





A cave complex boasting prized prehistoric paintings will reopen after eight years of closure, despite scientists' warnings that heat and moisture from human visitors damage the site known as the Sistine Chapel of Paleolithic Art.

The Culture Ministry and the site's board of directors said Tuesday that visits to the Caves of Altamira in the northern Cantabria region will resume next year, although on a still-unspecified, restricted basis.

The main chamber at Altamira features 21 bison painted in red and black, which appear to be to charging against a low, limestone ceiling. The site was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1985. The paintings are estimated to be 14,000 to 20,000 years old....



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