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article imageMona Lisa speaks across the centuries, in Mandarin

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By M Dee Dubroff     Aug 27, 2009 in Lifestyle
What smile is more ubiquitous than that of the lovely Italian lady known to an adoring world as Mona Lisa? Probably none, but believe it or not, Miss Mona now speaks interactively to visitors and in Chinese to boot. Read on and be amazed.
Leonardo Da Vinci would probably be quite surprised to see his genteel aristocratic lady of another softer time and place transformed into a high tech, interactive art exhibit. Be that as it may, the lady with the enigmatic smile is only one of 61 high-tech replicas on display at the World Classic Interactive Arts Exhibition, which opened last week in Beijing.
Originally crafted by a South Korean art gallery to bring these incredible recreations of renowned masterpieces to a Chinese audience took two years of preparation not to mention a great deal of money.
In the words of exhibition organizer, Wang Hui:
“What’s special about this is that it's the first time the 3D technology, holographic technology, and voice recognition technology is fused together in one exhibit.”
But wherever she goes, Mona is always the star attraction and the digital version fares the same. She talks and waves to visitors, who ask her questions about her age and her life. In her own words (in mandarin, of course):
“Hello, I am the Mona Lisa. It's nice to meet you.”
Some other masterpieces include Da Vinci’s "The Last Supper,” in which Jesus talks to the apostles and moves across the plasma canvas. There is also a multimedia play by life-size replicas of ancient statues of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, who brag about their virtues and beauty while striking poses.
Well, Mona, it’s nice to meet you too. Maybe we will finally uncover the mystery behind your smile. But do we really want to?
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