[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
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list