Passive Preservation

"(…) the Association Louis Bégouën, chartered for that task [the preservation and care of the Volp caves], which (as the name suggests) is intended to promote the historical vision of his father. This, Robert explained, is relatively simple: the caves have lasted for approximately fourteen thousand years, and there is every reason to assure that they will persist for thousands of years into the future. With the exception of Breuil’s recordings and the excavations in the Enlène living areas, there is no urgent need to disturb the rest of the caves in any fashion, including through additional research. (Any research that archaeologists could currently undertake will be better executed in the future, when our methods and techniques would be improved.) Extreme care and patience are the family’s operating approaches. Passive preservation, as this is labeled, has become the guiding philosophy in the conservation and heritage management fields. The Bégouën family invented this principle almost a century ago.

(…) Because of the concern with preservation, little had been done to improve access to the galleries in Trois Frères, and we wore no helmets to ensure that we caused no damage to the low passages as we scrambled through. (A bruised scalp will heal; a broken chunk of a stalactite will take much longer to repair.)"

David S. Whitley in Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit - The origin of creativity and belief (2009, p.162-163)

O conceito da "preservação passiva" remete para diversas concepções conservacionistas pouco usuais, i.e., que escapam às praxis/lógicas comuns dos frequentadores de cavernas; como explorar uma gruta sem capacete ou pensar que a melhor forma de preservar as cavidades endocársicas (ou outras) será não pôr os pés (e, já agora, o resto do corpinho) nas mesmas ;-)

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