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Artist creates replica of Van Gogh's ear using living cells from relative


Using genetic material from a living relative, a copy of Vincent Van Gogh's ear (let's pretend it's the one he cut off) is currently on display in a German museum.

Artist Diemut Strebe used living cells from Van Gogh's brother's great-great-great-grandson to create the replica, The Associated Press reports. Strebe then used a 3D printer and shaped the cells to resemble the ear. "I use science basically like a type of brush, like Vincent used paint," she said. The ear was grown at a hospital in Boston, and is currently being kept alive in a case that contains a special liquid. Work is underway to use mitochondrial DNA from one of Van Gogh's female relatives to create a future installation.

In addition to looking at the ear and asking, "Why?" visitors to the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe can speak into it through a microphone.