Saturday, May 13, 2006


Chauvet Charade

Almost didn't get back yesterday from Dordogne. Had to sneak into a side entrance of Bordeaux airport, whose main access roads and entrances were blocked by a surprise strike by maintenance workers. Vive our Columbia University tour director, the well-named Jacques Charmant, who devised our stealth airport invasion on the spot!

Can't write now about my art-ventures in Dordogne, which I must save for the WSJ. But I can tell you this: The fabulous 32,000-year-old cave paintings at Chauvet, ostensibly off-limits to the public from the moment they were discovered in 1994, can be accessed by ordinary mortals who are neither scholars nor VIPs, but are endowed with preternatural persistence and patience. I can say no more, except that you must find out who's in charge and get your name on a list. I myself have not yet seen Chauvet; it is east of Dordogne, and time did not permit.

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