Van Gogh, lend me your ear

It's almost 127 years to the day when Vincent Van Gogh famously cut off part of his ear.  Now, in an odd twist of events, his ear is back.

French artist Diemut Strebe has created a first-of-its-kind living replica of Van Gogh's ear with genetic samples from his great-great grandson: Liewue Van Gogh.

"Some people say it's creepy. I don't think it's creepy," said Strebe.  "I think it's a matching portrait of our time."

Strebe grew the donated ear cells of Van Gogh's relative on a polymer-based scaffold. 

The scaffold was shaped similarly to the size of Van Gogh's ear based on a photograph of the artist.

The big question of course: Can the ear hear anything?

"The ear can't hear of course, but the art plays with hearing," said Strebe.  "Inside the pedestal is a computer running a program that mimics the nerve firing, which is connected to the human voice input. The cracking sound is that processing in real time."

The artwork, titled "Sugababe," made its debut in New York in the fall.  It will be heading to Japan next.

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