UN cultural agency UNESCO on Sunday granted its prized World Heritage status to the Chauvet cave, in Vallon Pont d'Arc, in southern France containing the earliest known figurative drawings. (AFP PHOTO/JEFF PACHOUD)
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U.N. cultural agency UNESCO granted its prized World Heritage status Sunday to a prehistoric cave in southern France containing the earliest known figurative drawings.A French lawmaker for the Ardeche, Pascal Terrasse, described the cave as "a first cultural act".The opening of the cave, located about 25 meters underground, was closed off by a rock fall 23,000 years ago.It lay undisturbed until it was rediscovered by three French cave experts in 1994 and almost immediately declared a protected heritage site in France.Access has since been severely restricted and fewer than 200 researchers a year are allowed to visit the cave, which stretches into several branches along about 800 meters and at its highest reaches 18 meters.
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