Is This Shakespeare
9/5/2010 - Germany - Exclusive
3D or not 3D? Scientists recreate warts-and-all 'image' of Shakespeare... but have they got the right man?
Scientists have used state-of-the-art 3D computer technology to create what they say is the first true likeness of William Shakespeare.The image shows every wrinkle on the playwright's face and the figure's haunted stare is radically different from existing images which purport to be of the Bard.The warts-and-all image is featured in a TV documentary called Death Masks, due to be screened on the History Channel on September 13. Director Stuart Clarke said: 'The results from this forensic examination are startling. 'They show strong evidence both forensically and historically that this 3D model may be, in fact, the way Shakespeare looked in life. 'Breakthroughs in computer imaging mean we may have to rewrite the history books on Shakespeare.'Clarke's team have also produced 3D likenesses of Napoleon, Julius Caesar, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The recreations are based on scans taken from death masks - and in some cases masks made during life.The producers of the show claim that the images will challenge viewers' perceptions of what some of history's most famous figures looked like.The image of Napoleon is said to be significantly different from that which the French have become accustomed to, while the 'real' face of Washington is nothing like his image on the dollar bill.But the recreation of Shakespeare is likely to cause the most controversy. The Bard's true likeness has been the subject of speculation for centuries and many experts dispute that the death mask used in the programme is Shakespeare's.It was found in Darmstadt, Germany, in the 1840s and German scientists linked it to Shakespeare after carrying out a series of tests.They say it proves the writer suffered from cancer towards the end of his life.
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