Côa and Siega Verde: Art without Limits

Côa and Siega Verde: Art without Limits

The international exhibition “Côa and Siega Verde: Art without Limits”, will be on exhibition in Madrid at the Arqueológico Nacional Museum, from November 15 to February 12, 2023

This is an exhibition organized by the Junta de Castilla y León and the Côa Park Foundation, as part of the Paleoarte project, and has the purpose of disclosing the open-air Paleolithic art from the sites of Siega Verde (Spain) and Côa Valley (Portugal), the only cross-border material asset in Europe that is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The aim of this exhibition is not only to raise public sensitivity to the most ancient forms of artistic expression but also to combat the idea, which is still largely widespread, that these images were only produced inside caves and shelters. In fact, today we have a lot of evidence that assures us that images from the Upper Paleolithic were much more common outdoors than inside caves and shelters, but most of the former have been lost, unlike the latter which have been better preserved by being protected from the weather. The special conditions of the Côa Valley and Siega Verde, especially its geology, allowed the conservation of Paleolithic art in the open air until today. These sites are rare testimonies of a particular variant – open-air art – of a European artistic tradition that existed between at least 42,000 years ago and 12,000 years ago (the European Upper Paleolithic art).

The foundations of this exhibition are the results of several research teams, mainly Portuguese and Spanish, that have been working in the region for about 30 years.

Along the exhibition, visitors will find original pieces, replicas, and reconstitutions, as well as diverse textual and graphic information, sometimes in the form of drawings, photos, videos, and even holograms. The exhibition is also dotted with several interactive elements that intend to contribute to a better understanding of the exhibit’s contents.

The exhibition is curated by Thierry Aubry, André Tomás Santos (Côa Park Foundation), Javier Fernández Moreno and Cristina Vega Maeso (Junta de Castilla y León), also editors from a guide book that includes the participation of 12 other researchers, Portuguese and Spanish.

Free entrance. Visit