A German artist has regrown a replica of van Gogh’s severed ear, using 3D-printing and some of the artist’s genetic material.
The living ear contains cells grown from samples provided by van Gogh’s great-great-nephew, Lieuwe van Gogh.
The 19th century painter is said to have cut off his own left ear in a psychotic episode in 1888.
Diemut Strebe, the artist, said that the ear is being kept alive inside a case and could theoretically last for years.
Strebe said she wanted to combine art and science when creating the project, using science like van Gogh used paint.
Hopes of using van Gogh’s own genetic material were dashed when DNA extracted from an envelope turned out to belong to someone else, according to an Al Jazeera report.
Strebe said that it was easy to convince Lieuwe van Gogh to take part in the project.
“He loved the project right away,” said Strebe in an interview with Associated Press.
The ear is on display at The Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany.