Salignac: under the fingers of Luc Ebbo, fossils become works of art
At the museum, ammonites and reptiles from millions of years old are sublimated
By Maxime Lancestre 2016 LaProvence
Is it a museum or an art gallery? Both, General. 150 million years ago, Provence was under waters teeming with marine life. Reptiles and ammonites, a family of cephalopods related to our present-day octopuses, abound. In the modern era, something to delight fossil enthusiasts for whom the territory offers a privileged playground. Luc Ebbo is one of them. At the age of 7, his grandfather, then mayor of La Mûre, took him to the mountains of Saint-André-Les-Alpes, in search of these remains of prehistoric animals. Irresistibly attracted by these strange stones, it constitutes day after day, one of the most extraordinary collections of ammonites unrolled in the south-east of France.
The story of a passion like any other which could have ended there, if the attraction of the collection was not combined in him with an artistic approach. In 2014, he set up in Salignac, through the maze of vaulted cellars of an old Provencal building, a very special museum of fossils. Usually a fossil is exhibited in its raw state, here ammonites, fish, starfish and marine reptiles become works of art behind the windows. The fruit of meticulous work worthy of a goldsmith.
A personal touch for a visual exhibition
Over the years Luc Ebbo has greatly developed his techniques for clearing the earth by using modern tools: micro jackhammers, acids which dig the rock without damaging the fossil, micro-sanders and even ultrasound. "I borrow techniques from different trades, sometimes drawing inspiration from Germany, they are at the forefront in this area. These methods make it possible to extract the least part of the fossils from the ground."
Because if he sublimates these remains of prehistoric animals, he does not transform them. "These exhibited works are not montages. I am recomposing the fossils as they were originally. I simply add an aesthetic side to their presentation." A personal touch, which makes the exhibition very visual. Enough to mark the 4 annual visitors to the museum who very often have never seen fossils undergoing such aesthetic preparation.
The museum is open every day from 10 a.m. to 13 p.m. and from 15 p.m. to 19 p.m. until August 31, as well as on weekends in September. Price: € 5 and free for children under 12. Information: 06 80 78 98 78 or firstname.lastname@example.org