President of the General Council of Ariège
The Parc de la Préhistoire in Tarascon-sur-Ariège had the immense honor of hosting, on September 6-11, 2010, the biennial congress of the International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO), with support from the General Council of Ariège.
Presided by Jean CLOTTES since 1988, the Federation includes site owners, university and avocational scholars and scientists interested in the study, conservation and development of rock art sites.
Many of them met in Ariège, at the invitation of Jean Clottes, to address the topic of Pleistocene Art of the World.
During this fruitful week, conferences, round tables, discussions and presentations succeeded each other in the gentle ambiance of a late Ariège summer, which was in sharp contrast to the vivacious rhythm of the debates.
The conviviality and joy of reuniting with colleagues and friends from all continents went hand in hand with the richness of the interventions, the quality of the discussions and the confrontation of different points of view.
The visits to our sites, the cultural and artistic manifestations in the evening and the quality of the gastronomy also played a part in the national and international resonance of this event, as intended by the Ariège Department, following the lead of the centennial of the authentication of the parietal paintings in the caves of Niaux and Bédeilhac.
The success of a manifestation of such amplitude of course required a strict and efficient organizational team, among whom I first applaud Jean Clottes, the great prehistorian from Ariège, whose capacities in this domain are no less impressive than his accomplishments as a researcher and discoverer.
To him, his entire team, and all those who invested their time and energy to ensure the success of this congress and the comfort of the participants, I address my most sincere and warm congratulations, as well as to our partners from the DRAC.
The Proceedings that you will discover in this superb tri-lingual volume, and the accompanying CD-rom, faithfully reproduce the articles and presentations of the congress thanks to the efficacy and savoir-faire of the Société Préhistorique Ariège-Pyrénées.
In this volume, all will be reminded of the quality of the discussions, and the diversity of opinions and perspectives expressed throughout each day of this week in September.
Loyal to its cultural tradition, the General Council is happy and proud to have contributed to the organization of this conference and the publication of its Proceedings.
I wish to all a fruitful reading of this volume and address my sincere wishes for the success of the next IFRAO congress in Bolivia.