“The Côa Valley Upper Paleolithic rock art is an exceptional illustration of the rapid development of men/women’s creative genius, at the dawn of its cultural development; […] it outstandingly demonstrates the social, economic and spiritual life of humanity’s first ancestor.”
UNESCO - Report on the 22nd session of the World Heritage Commission. Kyoto, 1999.
Rock art is Humankind’s oldest graphical memory.
The creative energy, its antiquity and the undeniable artistic quality of Côa’s Paleolithic art substantiates its importance in terms of heritage and the title of the largest known open-air site of Paleolithic art in the world.
At the Côa Valley Museum, the absence of a significant amount of original tangible assets liable to be exposed in the museum building - except for a few selected pieces - shows the archaeological sites themselves as true objects of material reference and refers to recent exhibition formats and vocabularies. The Côa Valley Museum does not fit in a collections museology. The collection is abroad: the Côa Valley.
The adopted solution reflects, admittedly, the change of function and motivation of the use of the images of the engravings and sites in the Côa Valley to an environment created for new media and readings.
The thematic ambient defined by ARCHAEOLOGY is reflected in addressing issues such as IMAGE, ART, CULTURE, TERRITORY and LANDSCAPE.