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Giant Mona Lisa mosaic goes on show

A massive Mona Lisa has gone on show after the famous painting was named the nation's favourite portrait.

The five metre by seven metre canvas - 85 times bigger than the original portrait hanging in the Louvre - is on a 14-metre high easel in Clapham Common, south London.

The painting, which is a giant mosaic, was created using 84 individual self-portraits submitted to Sky Arts' Portrait Artist of the Year competition.

The easel, which weighs three tonnes, took two months to design and build.

Quentin Devine, who devised the giant artwork, said: "Updating Da Vinci's masterpiece to a 21st century digital piece of art has been one of the largest-scale digital art projects I've worked on in my 13 years of being a multimedia artist.

"It was a great challenge to combine the rich talents of the portrait artists competing for the accolade of Sky Arts Portrait of the Year."

The Sky Arts show, which begins on Tuesday, is hosted by Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner who travelled the country looking for new artistic talent.

The contestants will be whittled down during a series of challenges including a trip to Paris to paint Sophie Dahl, with the winner getting a commission from the British Library to paint author Hilary Mantel for its permanent collection.

Ms Bakewell said: "I am sure we have surprised a few dog walkers and people out for a stroll today - it's not often you come across a 14-metre easel featuring the Mona Lisa in London.

"Look closely and you can see what our show is about ... then watch the competition for the best portrait artist of the year."

A poll of 2,000 people found almost a quarter (24%) said the Mona Lisa was their favourite portrait, followed by Andy Warhol's pictures of Marilyn Monroe (20%) and Edvard Munch's The Scream (15%).

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