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Ice Age exhibition comes to Commonwealth Park

A touring photographic exhibition entitled ‘Ice Age Europe Now’ has arrived in Gibraltar and is on display in Commonwealth Park until the end of May.

The Minister for Heritage Dr John Cortes launched the open-air touring exhibition on the theme of Ice Age locally together with staff from the Gibraltar Museum.

The exhibition’s European tour began in April 2017 following its launch at the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann, Germany. From there it has travelled to Croatia, Italy, France, Spain and now Gibraltar.

Addressing guests and the media, Professor Clive Finlayson, director of the museum, said Gibraltar has been involved with the creation of such an exhibition for a number of years.

“This particular exhibition is a travelling exhibition that has been led by and funded by the German side of the operation but we have all participated in this,” he said.

There are a series of photographs that represent each of the sites and Gibraltar is included.

Noting that the exhibition is travelling around Europe and its next destination is Préhistomuseum in Brussels, Belgium, Dr Cortes said: “It is very topical that it is travelling to Brussels next.”
“Obviously the Ice Age was an era where we did have a European Union because there were no borders.”

Dr Cortes also congratulated Professor Finlayson for bringing the exhibition to Gibraltar.

“Commonwealth Park as we know is a hub of life on a sunny day and I am sure people will enjoy seeing the exhibition and relate it to Gibraltar,” he added. He also stated that he hoped the park would be used more in the future for exhibits such as this.

The exhibition depicts a network of heritage sites that tell the story of Ice Age people in Europe and Pleistocene cultural heritage in space and time.

According to the museum, the Ice Age is one of the most fascinating periods in early human history.

“The foundations of our culture today were established during more than two million years of Ice Age history; its relicts are among the key testimonies of cultural heritage and of human development,” said a statement from the museum.

The exhibition represents 20 archaeological sites, research institutions and their affiliated museums or visitor centres across eight European countries. The sites, among them many World Heritage Sites, attract close to two million visitors a year.

The Gibraltar National Museum is a founding member of the Ice Age Europe network of heritage sites.

The museum’s brief includes research at the Gorham’s Cave Complex where it carries out ongoing archaeological excavations. Gorham’s Cave was inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2016. The visit of the exhibition is the result of the Gibraltar National Museum’s direct involvement in the network.

The #IceAgeEuropeNow exhibition presents large-format photographs of fascinating finds, extraordinary objects and surprising connections between past and present from over 15 selected locations across Europe.

The photographs invite the audience to experience a shared cultural heritage and common European roots whilst learning how our Ice Age heritage is still present today.

The Gibraltar National Museum and Gorham’s Cave Complex have contributed to photographs of a moonrise at Gorham’s Cave and of the forensic reconstruction of the first Neanderthal fossil discovered in Gibraltar, now known as Nana.

The public is encouraged to join in the conversation about ‘Europe then and now’ by contributing ideas, thoughts and photographs using the #IceAgeEuropeNow hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! See what others have shared, on the exhibition’s social media wall: https://walls.io/79VMOcD56

Pic by Eyleen Gomez