[QODLink]
Europe

German artist 'regrows' severed Van Gogh ear

Descendant supplies genetic material to create "living replica" of ear that Dutch artist cut off during a psychotic fit.

Last updated: 03 Jun 2014 18:41
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The ear was 3D-printed and technically alive, says the artist [AP]

A German museum has put on display a living, 3D-printed copy of Vincent van Gogh's ear that was grown using some of the Dutch artist's genetic material.

The 19th century painter is said to have cut off his own left ear during a psychotic episode in 1888.

The Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe says the replica ear consists of living cells grown from samples provided by Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent's brother Theo.

The museum says Lieuwe and Vincent van Gogh share about 1/16th of the same genes, including the Y-chromosome that is passed down the male lineage.

Using a 3D-printer, the cells were shaped to resemble the ear.

Diemut Strebe, the artist, told the AP news agency on Tuesday that she wanted to combine art and science.

"I use science basically like a type of brush, like Vincent used paint."

She said the ear is being kept alive inside a case containing a nourishing liquid and could theoretically last for years.

Convincing Lieuwe van Gogh to take part was easy. "He loved the project right away," said Strebe.

Hopes of using genetic material that belonged to the post-Impressionist master himself were dashed when DNA extracted from an envelope turned out to belong to someone else. 

Still, work is underway with a female relative to include mitochondrial DNA - passed down the mother's line - for future installations. 

Strebe plans to display the ear in New York next year.

232

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.