New Richard III replica skull goes on display

The new reconstruction of the skull and the old one
Image caption Loughborough University used improved data to create a more detailed reconstruction of King Richard III's skull which will replace the original model
The new reconstruction of the skull from the side and underneath
Image caption The improved reconstruction of the skull shows the injuries Richard III suffered in greater detail
The new reconstruction of the skull from the side
Image caption A 3D printer was used to mould the skull and it is hoped to use the same technique to make a complete skeleton
Professor Russell Harris, from Loughborough University, and senior curator Laura Hadland
Image caption Professor Russell Harris, from Loughborough University, gave the skull to senior curator Laura Hadland to display in the Guildhall Exhibition
Reconstructed face of Richard III
Image caption A reconstruction of King Richard III's face, which is on tour around the country, will also form part of the exhibition

A highly accurate replica of Richard III's skull has joined the exhibition charting his life and re-discovery.

The remains were found in a Leicester car park last August and were confirmed as being those of the king in February.

Loughborough University used a 3D printer to make the reconstruction, which is more detailed than an original made for the announcement.

It is hoped to use the technique, which clearly shows his injuries, to replicate the whole skeleton.

Professor Russell Harris, head of the university's additive manufacturing research group, is leading Loughborough's involvement in the project.

"We are absolutely delighted with the new skull. It is incredibly more detailed than the previous version, and will be invaluable for future studies," he said.

Experts in Loughborough transformed scan data of the skeleton into a 3D computer model and then used a printer to make the replica.

The first version has been on display at the Leicester City Council's exhibition - "Richard III: Leicester's Search for a King" - at The Guildhall since February.

Since then, the team behind the replica used more in-depth data and refined production techniques to create the improved model, preserving the skull for future research after Richard III's body is re-interred at Leicester Cathedral.

Laura Hadland, senior curator for Leicester Arts and Museums Service, said: "85,000 people have visited the Guildhall exhibition so far and many of them have commented on how much the 3D skull model adds to their understanding of the battle trauma that the king suffered.

"We are hopeful that this higher-resolution model will take this understanding even further."

Plans to open a Richard III museum next to the site where the king's body was found were recently unveiled and should be completed by March.

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