Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Burns' face recreated for TV show

The face of Robert Burns has been revealed by the work of forensic experts (Graeme Hunter/University of Dundee/STV/PA)
The face of Robert Burns has been revealed by the work of forensic experts (Graeme Hunter/University of Dundee/STV/PA)

Forensic experts have constructed a life-size model of the face of national poet Robert Burns "in his full living glory" for a TV documentary.

Casts of the bard's skull and portraits were used to recreate the 3D depiction of his head.

The face was unveiled in a documentary on STV, In Search of Robert Burns.

It was reconstructed using state-of-the art forensic technology by a team at the University of Dundee, led by Professor Caroline Wilkinson, who said the project was "quite a challenge" and an "enormous responsibility".

She said: "To be able to reveal the 3D head of Burns to Scotland and the world is an immense privilege for us, and all the team have watched this head develop and take on character over the last year.

"Finally we can see this charismatic poet as others would have seen him in life, and it has not been disappointing."

She said the team assessed as much material as possible for the reconstruction, including skeletal and anatomical structure, facial proportions from the Reid miniature and the Miers silhouette, as well as portraits.

"This 3D depiction is as accurate as possible based on the available information and shows Burns in his full living glory," she added.

The Reid miniature was painted by Alexander Reid and the Miers silhouette was done by John Miers in 1787. Both images show Burns from a side view.

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