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Artistic enigma decoded by cosmic Czech start-up

Written by  Monday, 19 October 2020 07:23
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Madonna and Child optical and X-ray images

A Madonna and Child painting with a history almost as enigmatic as the Mona Lisa’s smile has been identified as an authentic Raphael canvas by Czech company InsightART, which used a robotic X-ray scanner to investigate the artwork.

“During this process it became clear that the work was executed layer by layer by Raphael, without the aid of his workshop assistants and apprentices,” says Jiří Lauterkranc, an art restorer and co-founder of InsightART.

The company received business advice and financial support from the ESA business incubation centre in Prague.

“We are used to different kinds of technological applications which make use of satellite data, navigation systems, airplanes or satellites. However, the combination of space technology and art is very unconventional – this is the only project,” says Michal Kuneš, project manager of the ESA business incubation centre.

The centre is part of ESA Space Solutions, which is the go-to place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. Its mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of businesses using satellite applications and space technology.

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