The ZKM museum in Germany has recently regrown Vincent Van Gogh’s ear and is now displaying the ear to visitors, The Guardian reports.
According to the museum’s website, “the ear is grown from tissue engineered cartilage and is ‘identical’ in shape to Van Gogh’s ear by using computer imaging technology.”
Additionally, the ear functions as would a normal, living ear. “You can talk to the ear. The input sound is processed by a computer using software that converts it to simulate nerve impulses in real time.”
Van Gogh, although famous for his 19th century post-impressionist painting such as “The Night Cafe” (1888) and “The Starry Night” (1889), may have gained even greater fame for cutting off his own right ear. Why he severed the ear remains up for debate.
Some scholars say he may have been provoked during a fight, or that he may have done it later in his life as his mental ability failed.
Nevertheless, Van Gogh and the story of his severed ear has lived on, creating fame that may supersede his own artistic talent. Now, the ear itself will live on for all to see.