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Mona Lisa Replica Creator Visiting Peoria From Paris

Pascal Cotte speaks at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, Feb. 7, 2020.
Tim Shelley / WCBU
Pascal Cotte speaks at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, Feb. 7, 2020.

The man behind the Mona Lisa replica at the center of the Peoria Riverfront Museum's da Vinci exhibit is visiting Peoria from Paris. 

Pascal Cotte was given access to the painting by the Lourve. He used a complex photography method to digitally recreate the famous painting from every angle and beneath the paint's surface. He describes himself as an engineer, not an art expert. 

"I am involved more with technical programs, electronic program, and logical programs. And immediately, it changed my life. Because I got to study the most famous painting in the world," he said. 

After his initial photos, Cotte had a mountain of data. But the Louvre's director told Cotte he wanted more facial detail data. 

One of those copies is now the centerpiece of a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. Cotte will speak to the public tonight at 6 p.m. at the museum.

"I [told him I] can do that, but I need more hours. So leave Mona Lisa here, and I will work to do that. And I worked all the night. And I finished at 8 'o clock in the morning. So as I said to my wife, I spent the night with Mona Lisa," he said. 

Cotte is speaking about his encounter with the da Vinci masterpiece at the museum at 6 p.m. Friday. The public is welcome to attend.

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Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.