A ROW has broken out over access to priceless Palaeolithic cave paintings in Spain.
The UNESCO World Heritage Altamira caves in Cantabria may soon be open to only the richest art lovers after the regional government proposed an auction system to limit visitors.
Currently, five randomly chosen people per week are allowed to view the paintings, which date back to 35,000 BC.
But local politicians have slammed the proposal, claiming it would be elitist.
PP politician José Antonio Lasalle said: “The proposal contravenes the policy of public prices that state museums operate on.
“In this country, access to culture is the same for everybody.”
Francisco Martín, the Cantabria government’s tourism chief, claimed the move would promote Cantabria internationally and ‘wouldn’t affect the weekly lottery of visitors to the site’.
The cave paintings, discovered in 1879, were closed to the public in 1977 following concerns over their deterioration.
They reopened in 2014 with visitors required to wear special clothing.