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By Larry Adams
More importantly, the CT images allowed the researchers to locate internal and external damage not visible to the naked eye. Using rapid prototyping software, the researchers then compiled the CT images into a 3-D replica of the mask, which was used to assist in the repairs.
The 3-D computer model of the mask allows viewing from any angle, including an inside view -- impossible with traditional museum displays. It also allows global access to the mask, because the museum could provide the virtual reality version on its website.
"The museum was very excited about using radiology scans to recreate items, and the possibility of using this as a new form of art conservation," says Robertson.