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Faithful 3D replicas bring Van Gogh classics to life

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has been working with Fujifilm to reproduce the artist's masterpieces in 3D, right down to the finest details.

A detail of the Relievo version of "Sunflowers." Van Gogh Museum

Chances are good you'll never be able to own an original Van Gogh, but thanks to a new technique developed by Fujifilm Belgium, a faithful reproduction could be in the cards.

Called Reliefography, the technique uses a combination of scanning and printing technologies to re-create a work of art, faithfully replicating the size, color, brightness, and texture of the original work. It goes beyond the front of the canvas, though -- the detailing extends to the back, where all labels and stamps have been re-created in detail.

The five reproductions in a collection called "Relievo," created in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum, are "Almond Blossom" (1890), "Sunflowers" (1889), "The Harvest" (1888), "Wheatfield Under Thunderclouds" (1890), and "Boulevard de Clichy" (1887).

Each painting was scanned in 3D before being printed in professional high resolution using Fujifilm UV inkjet printers and anti-counterfeiting technologies. Fujifilm and Van Gogh Museum experts monitored the process at every step and performed highly rigorous quality checks. Each Relievo has been approved by the museum's curator.

Rear detail of the "Sunflowers" Relievo. Van Gogh Museum

The museum will be using the Relievos for educational purposes in-house.

"By means of the Relievos, availability and accessibility of the works of art can be enhanced, which gives the museum the opportunity to realize its mission to inspire and enrich as large an audience as possible," the institution said on its Web site. "Besides, viewers will now be able to come up close to a Van Gogh painting, even touching it. This opens up different perspectives, among them the use of the reproductions for the benefit of the blind and visually impaired."

Additionally, the reproductions will be available for purchase, helping the museum generate funds to renovate its new wing. The going rate is 25,000 euros (about $33,000).

The Relievo collection is on display at Gallery by the Harbour in Hong Kong until August 4.

(Source: Crave Australia)