¿Côa Valley Land Art?
The Upper Paleolithic art located in the Portuguese border area of the Côa -Douro river basin- received almost 80,000 visitors during the year 2021, despite the pandemic, according to the managers of the Portuguese site.
In the Côa Valley, whose rock art was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998, there are 1,300 artistic panels distributed on the banks of the river, where half a thousand contain engravings from the Paleolithic era.
Similarly, in the Spanish border area and on the banks of the Águeda river, which runs parallel to the Côa to the Duero through the Spanish province of Salamanca, almost a hundred rock panels are located in Siega Verde, which, as an extension of the Côa, in 2010 are declared World Heritage.
Aida Carvalho, president of the Côa-Parque Foundation that manages the Portuguese Côa Deposit, says that due to the international prestige of this enclave and despite the pandemic, the Côa Valley is an Iberian tourist attraction pole and in 2021 there are 79,000 visits.
Many of the visitors who come to the Portuguese area of Côa also travel to see the Spanish at Siega Verde, a cave site that is located to the west of the province of Salamanca, in the villages of Martillán and Serranillo.
In both cases, engravings from 20,000 years ago of different animals such as canines, deer, horses, goats or bulls can be seen on the slate rocks.
Even extinct species such as the aurochs or the woolly rhinoceros.
According to Aida Carvalho, between February and May of this year, the Côa Museum, located next to the engravings in the Portuguese town of Vila Nova de Foz Côa, will house the exhibition Prehistoric Art: From the Rock to the Museum, belonging to the National Museum of Archeology (MNA) of Spain.
It is a traveling exhibition with 300 pieces between paintings, engravings and other artistic disciplines.
The exhibition was born in 2021 to commemorate the centenary of the pioneering worldwide exhibition on prehistoric cave art, which took place in Spain in 1921, according to the MNA.
The Iberian Peninsula is one of the world enclaves with the largest number of artistic manifestations of this type and Spain is the country with the largest number of prehistoric art sites declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
Among the three hundred candidates who opt in this 2022 to win the European Museum of the Year award granted by the European Forum of Museums, the Côa has managed to get into the final and is the only one from Portugal that is on the list of the 60 shortlisted explains Carvalho.
Being in the final of the EMYA awards (European Museum of the Year) is very important for the international recognition of the Côa Museum, whose winner will be announced next May in the Estonian city of Tartu.
Lisbon, Jan 16 (EFE)