Skip to content

Company | Cosquer cave in Marseille: more than a month before immersion

La cave Cosquer comes out of the water.” From Saint-Charles station to the A55 motorway, everywhere postcards, flyers, posters and advertising videos have been announcing the color since the beginning of April: in a month, the Villa Méditerranée will unveil to the general public the interpretation center and the restitution of the Cosquer cave. The communication campaign is currently being led by the Region, the local authority which has entrusted Kléber Rossillon with the management and operation of the site as a public service delegation. In mid-May, it will be the turn of the structure that already manages the replica of the Chauvet cave in Ardèche to go on the communication offensive.

2,000 tickets sold

Some 600,000 leaflets have come out of the printing presses, to accompany the campaign which will be deployed well beyond Marseille. “We will be very present at the end of May-beginning of June, through posters and the distribution of leaflets both in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and in the Rhône-Alpes region around Lyon. A display on dynamic screens is planned in Paris, alongside a large digital campaign, including on social networks“, explains Sophie Spagnolo, communication officer at Cosquer Méditerranée. A TV ad produced by a Marseille company will also be running on France 3 from June 1.

Because to be profitable, the site, which can receive up to 4,000 people a day, must attract 600,000 to 800,000 visitors the first year, then 500,000 per year, an attendance close to that of the Chauvet replica (400,000 ) and identical to that of Lascaux in the Dordogne.

Since the opening of the ticket office on March 21, 2,000 admission tickets have been sold, with reservations being made on slots open every 3 minutes from 9 a.m. Those who turned pale when they discovered that it was impossible to take a ticket in the week of July 2 to 9 can be reassured. “We had to close the slots while waiting for the date of the inauguration by President Emmanuel Macron. As soon as we are fixed, we will reopen them for sale“, specifies the person in charge. To allow to relay to the greatest number the unknown and incredible history of the cave Cosquer, Sophie Spagnolo connects the guided tours: The Times, Our time, Mickey’s Diary, Fine Arts magazine, The Parisian, Archeologyradios, TVs, websites, monthlies, daily newspapers, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, German, English, generalist, specialized media… Thanks to the partnership established with Provence Tourisme, the Marseille tourist office and the Regional Tourism Committee, the whole world parades through the lair of the replica, a veritable hive in which each trade is active.

Yesterday, 70 reception agents began to make their mark in the Villa. In a month, they will be responsible for managing flows in order to limit the number of visitors present simultaneously in the replica of the cave at level R -2 to 240, and to 280 in the museum space of the cantilever level R +3. This is where you will find, in the bookstore-shop, the catalog published by Actes Sud, books and special editions devoted to the cave, but also objects, textiles, souvenirs and other stuffed animals of penguins, bison, seals and small lions, currently being delivered.

Aware that she is not about to take a vacation, the communication officer is not content to multiply institutional contacts and also reaches out to traders, residents and boaters neighboring the Villa Méditerranée. “No question of remaining closed in on ourselves, insists Sophie Spagnolo. It is essential to open up to those who work and live here, meet us on a daily basis, and will be de facto our first ambassadors.”

Proof of this is the “prehistoric” collection that the chocolatier L’Esperantine, located a stone’s throw from the Villa, in the Voûtes de la Major, released at Easter. There was a chocolate dinosaur eggthe Neanderpaq family and even a Shocker Diverwhich Henri Cosquer himself came to taste.

Let yourself be guided by the voice of Philippe Caubère

In the Label 42 recording studio, the Marseilles actor Philippe Caubère said he was “lucky and proud” to embody the voice of the audio guide of the replica.

This is the first time that I have been offered this type of work and I am very proud of it, it is a great responsibility that I am entrusted with, I hope to be up to it.“, slips Philippe Caubère. In a moment, the one who, in cinema and theater, interpreted Molière, played Pagnol and Daudet, will face the microphone of sound engineer Elory Humez, head of the Label 42 studio, rue Falque (6th), who was entrusted with the recording of the audioguide of the replica of the Cosquer cave. Commissioned by Kléber Rossillon to take charge of this aspect, the La Prod est dans le pré La Rochelle agency called on the team of technicians who had recreated the sound atmosphere of the matches at the Vélodrome stadium during confinement.To give substance to the story of the cave, the Prod saw no one other than Caubère.

Available in French, English, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch, the text was written by the prehistorian Thierry Félix already at work in Lascaux. “The difficulty here is that the visitor will not be able to put the audio guide on pause since the tour is done on automated modules; this is a first, we have never visited a cave decorated in this way“, specifies the author who worked on a text of 35 minutes, accessible to all, young and old, but also on another of 45 minutes, more pointed.

The story told in the hollow of the ear, the movements of the module and the lighting of the works must be perfectly tuned so that the visitor understands what he sees while being seized by the same emotions as if he were in the cave. “There is something extraordinary in the story of this discovery, we go back to the origin of artcontinues Philippe Caubère. The equality of relationships that men then had with animals is very touching and then, with this entrance in the form of a long gut, the Cosquer cave offers a very psychoanalytical symbol of the return to the maternal womb.. It is a chance to allow me to accompany visitors on this journey to the center of humanity.” Once the actor’s warm and serious voice has been reworked, dressed and mixed in situin order to wedge it as well as possible with the treasures of the route, all that remains is to let yourself be guided, by experimenting with an unprecedented “body to body” with the works of our incredible ancestors.

Henri Cosquer: “I didn’t immediately understand…”

In the restitution center of the Cosquer cave, the visitor will be virtually immersed in the Mediterranean, as soon as he arrives in the lift-diver, in which images of the diving descent shot in Morgiou a few days ago will be projected.

He will thus find himself in the skin of Cassidain Henri Cosquer. The first time that the former professional diver put his flippers in the cave, it was randomly during an exploration, in 1985. A second visit followed, with blackout and blue scare. Because the cave, located under the cliff of the Calanque de la Triperie, at the entrance to Morgiou, is only accessible at a depth of 37 m, by taking a 116 m long hose.

In 1989, during a third visit, Cosquer fortuitously saw a stenciled hand. Then several. Rock paintings and engravings, which scientists believe were made between 33,000 and 19,000 BC.”I did not immediately understand how enormous what I had just discovered was“, confided Henri Cosquer in our columns in 2017. It is a tragedy that will lead to the revelation of the cave: on September 1, 1991, three cave divers died in the gut leading to the cavity. Two days later, Henri Cosquer declared his discovered at Maritime Affairs.The entrance to the cave was immediately sealed off, only being made accessible to scientists.

553 works of parietal art

Bison, horses, stags, a bear, a feline, seals, penguins, fish, jellyfish…: over the course of the scientific missions, no less than 553 works have been listed. Miraculously preserved until then, the partly submerged cave sees its jewels destroyed by the rising waters which are accentuated with climate change. The restitution, designed thanks to the ultraprecision of its 3D digitization, will make it possible to preserve, study and share the richness of the exceptional treasure with as many people as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.