Mona Lisa comes to life in high-tech art exhibition

Written by Reuters | Beijing | Updated: Aug 28 2009, 05:49am hrs
For centuries, Leonardo da Vincis Mona Lisa and her enigmatic smile have inspired as much speculation as admiration. Now shes ready to answer questionsin Mandarin.

A digital, interactive version of the renowned 16th century painting is one of 61 high-tech replicas breathing life into classical and ancient art works in the World Classic Interactive Arts Exhibition which opened in Beijing last week. These recreation of works by old masters and renowned modern painters were crafted by a South Korean gallery. Exhibition organizer Wang Hui said it took two years of preparation and a hefty investment to bring the works to China.

Whats special about this is that its the first time the 3D technology, holographic technology, and voice recognition technology is fused together in one exhibit, Wang said.

As is the case with the original painting in the Louvre in Paris, the digital Mona Lisa is the star attraction. She talks and waves to visitors, who ask her age and about her life.

Hello, I am the Mona Lisa. Its nice to meet you, she says in Mandarin.

The Last Supper is another da Vinci painting digitally brought to life, and in which Jesus talks to the apostles and moves across the plasma canvas.

The exhibit also includes a multimedia play by life-size replicas of ancient statues of Greek and Roman gods and goddess. The digital portrait is also programmed to talk about about the sorrow and happiness in her life.