Monday, June 11, 2007

The Ekain Caves

This article comes to us thanks to EITb:

Ekain Caves in Zestoa Gipuzkoa, Basque country

ZESTOA –Gipuzkoa: Ekain caves’ replica will have more than 80,000 visits per year A French company is building a replica that will be placed next to the original at the end of year 2006.

35 years ago two discovered Ekain cave. From that moment on Ekain has turned into a sanctuary for specialists of prehistory. The cave is considered valuable owing to its cave paintings and its excellent maintenance.

Aranzadi Science Society, promoter of Ekain project, apart from preserving this treasure, has promoted the building of a replica of the cave in France, 500 metres away from the original one.

The replica will be open in 2007 and will be visited by 80,000-120,000 people a year, according to estimation of the recently-constituted Ekain Foundation. This association, sponsored by Basque Government, delegation of Gipuzkoa, and city hall of Zestoa, will promote “Ekain berri” project, which apart from the replica, includes Prehistory Basque Museum’s building in Lili Palace, car parking and repairing already existing roads.

Promoting Urola Coast

Up to now, almost four millions and a half have been invested in the initiative and in the following years 10 millions and a half more will be used for the project. The idea is getting a connection between ecology and culture, the same way they want to get it between Menosca project in Zarautz –about roman presence in the area-, Balenciaga Museum in Getaria, Oteiza pelota courts in Azkoitia, and Loiola basilica’s promotion in Azpeitia. Thus, a new offer in tourism, culture and leisure time will be created in Urola coast, with “Ekain berri” as badge project.

Building the artificial cave, erected by architect Txema Balerdi is already finished, and cost two million Euro.

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