Well, at least its the next best thing.
Lascaux is among one of the many strictly forbidden places in the world where even scientists have been barred from entering the cave. Housing close to 600 paintings, the cave has been sealed off due to the damage caused by the large scale of visitors which resulted in fungi and lichen infesting the interiors of the cave, although that’s not to say that no one will ever be able to admire its art again. Lascaux IV was later built as an exact facsimile of the actual cave with its paintings precisely copied pixel by pixel. The Lascaux IV may be a duplicate, but we must say, it’s a pretty darn good one.
The nine-story-Porcelain Tower of Nanjing may not be the tallest of buildings, but it is definitely considered the most unique and beautiful in China. Or at least it once was. Built in honour of the Yongle Emperor’s parents, the Porcelain Tower stood out from the rest of its wooden constructions with its glittering white exterior. Following its destruction by rebels, in 2016 the new replicated “Porcelain” Tower has now taken over its spot to stand in its place. Constructed from steel, the new tower likely isn’t as glorious as before but the temple-turned-museum still holds some of its most sacred Buddha statues and its interior spiral staircase design from the original tower.
An illustration of the original Porcelain Tower / Maastricht University (Left). The modern steel-constructed “Porcelain” Tower / Photo by @_dacox_ (Right).
Listed one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, the Kinkaku-Ji temple is a sight to behold. The temple is famous for its golden exterior as it reflects against the pond in a picturesque garden. But if you think the temple is authentic, we’ll have to burst your bubble. Despite surviving the Ōnin civil war, the temple was later burned down by a deranged monk. After the tragedy, a replica of the golden beauty was built in place of the original pavilion. Regardless, standing in all its glory, the replicated Kinkaku-Ji temple remains to be one of the most famous temples in Japan. Fake it if you can’t make it, am I right?
The Golden Pavilion in 1885 before its destruction / Adolfo Farsari (Left). Rebuilt Kinkaku-Ji Temple that is an exact replica / Ilya Grigorik (Right).
Discovered several years after the Lascaux Cave, the Chauvet Cave (Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave) was also found to be filled with cave paintings as well as fossils and markings of several extinct animals additionally. Though unlike Lascaux, the Chauvet Cave was immediately closed off to the public for damage control. Fortunately, in 2015, a replica of the Chauvet Cave, Caverne du Pont-d'Arc was officially opened to the public. Its replication is shockingly realistic for a faux cave and the paintings and markings were replicated down to the very last detail. And because technology has become so advanced these days, you can also check out the ‘cave’ virtually – perfect for couch potatoes like you and me.
Claimed to have had burned down in the 587 BC, the infamous Solomon’s Temple may very well have remained a 2D figure forever. Fortunately, a Second Temple was built to replace its initial temple… but it was destroyed yet again during the First Jewish-Roman War. Perhaps it wasn’t so fortunate after all. Despite its double-downfall, a grander duplicate of the temple has been built in São Paulo, Brazil. By grander, we mean four times its original size with the height of an 18-story building and a helicopter landing pad. It certainly has the wow factor!