Vincent van Gogh's missing ear is like a holy relic. Surrounded by mystery and rumors, the legend of how he lost it has taken on a mystical power. And, like the bones of saints, it could potentially come back to life.

That's nearly what Dutch artist Diemut Strebe has attempted. Taking genetic material, namely living cells provided by the great-great-grandson of van Gogh's brother, Strebe has re-created the painter's infamous appendage.

Some believe that van Gogh chopped off his ear during a psychotic breakdown while others attribute his rash act to a fight with Paul Gauguin. Whatever the case, thanks to Strebe, we finally get a chance to see van Gogh's ear in all its mythical glory.

Titled Sugababe, Strebe used the genetic material and computer imaging technology to create the lifelike ear.

The ear is on view at the Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. Visitors can use software that simulates nerve impulse to talk to the ear, so if you have a question for van Gogh, this is your chance to ask it. Sugababe will also travel to New York next spring.

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[via artnet]