I seriously doubt that it took that long to carve. Were any of these conservators actually real artists?
Yeah, I could knock that out in a couple hours with my Dremel Moto-Tool.
From the comments at the end of the article. (Another one pointed out that male European cave lions didn't have manes, per various cave paintings.)
5 Feb 13 21:32 CET WULF HEIN, GERMANY
In 2009, I replicated the Lion Man from a tusk with authentic flint tools as an archaeological experiment on behalf of the Ulm Museum, the documentation can be seen here: http://www.echtzeitmedia.de/referenzen.php?id_c=loewe It took me more than 360 hours to carve the statuette, but once I started to work I liked to see it finished. I think the expression "work at daylight" used by the author of the article is mistakable, he just meant modern daily worktime (9 to 5). But I´m shure this artwork was made in more or less one go - as a reindeer hunter living a nomadic life you won´t carry around a statue weighing more than 1 kilogram for years and years. I could imagine that it was made during one winter by one specialized person being capable to do this - not everybody is a Michelangelo. "You carve for us, we pay for you". And I´m definitely shure that this statuette is sexless - where else are the female attributes depicted so impressive and often on venus carvings from the same time?
It was probably made in a cave factory in what is present day China and imported.....