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    “Lady with an Ermine” Enclosed in a Marker

    Scientists capture the scent of da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine” in a marker for a unique museum experience.

    Museum curators and scientists from Krakow and Ljubljana have encapsulated the scent of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine” in a marker.

    Elżbieta Zygier, chief conservator at the National Museum in Krakow, explained that dispersing the scent in open air isn’t feasible due to safety concerns. To allow the public to experience the scent, it has been enclosed in a marker. Upon opening, one can smell the painting.

    Specialists used advanced equipment to analyze samples taken from the painting. The scent includes notes from the walnut panel, oil and tempera binders, varnish, and traces of overpainting. Zygier personally finds the citrus scent dominant and enjoyable.

    The marker’s placement near the painting is uncertain. Before public release, visitor feedback will be collected at the Czartoryski Museum. The Odotheka project aims to create a “library” of historic object scents, enhancing museum experiences, especially for visually impaired visitors. “Lady with an Ermine” is the first of ten works to be analyzed.

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