Kennis & Kennis: Making of the “new” Ötzi


Interview with Adrie und Alfons Kennis, the two dutsch “creators” of the new Ötzi reconstruktion:

Adrie and Alfons Kennis at work:

Photos of the new reconstruction


Some photos of the new reconstruction by Adrie und Alfons Kennis:

Reconstruction by Kennis © South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Foto Ochsenreiter

Ötzi lives!


In its March issue, out today, National Geographic Germany is exclusively showing the new, naturalistic reconstruction of Ötzi the Iceman, discovered 20 years ago as a mummy on a glacier in the Ötztaler Alps.
Using 3D images of his skull as well as X-ray and CT images, the Dutch artists Adrie and Alfons Kennis have recreated the 5,300-year old Man from the Ice as a main attraction of Ötzi20, the major anniversary exhibition due to open on 1 March at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.

“This accurate yet sensitive representation of Ötzi will fascinate and stir people around the world”, says Museum Director Angelika Fleckinger: “It gives our history a face, in the truest sense of the word”.
This latest work by these artists, famous for their reconstructions, shows a denizen of the Alps from the Stone Age, striking in the lifelike nature of every detail, from his skin colour down to the smallest wrinkle on his brow: of medium height, slight yet wiry, with narrow, sharp features, an unruly beard and tanned skin.
“Twenty years ago the discovery of this man, his mysterious death, the unique insights into his life and world, all profoundly affected us”, says Erwin Brunner, editor-in-chief of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GERMANY. “And now we can finally look him in the eyes and recognise, to our amazement, that he is really one of us!”
The entire reconstruction of Ötzi the Iceman will be exposed from 1st March on in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bozen.

Ötzi gets a makeover


The brothers Adrie und Alfons Kennis in Arnhem in the Netherlands are busy working on the new Iceman figure. His head is now ready, and his torso, arms and legs will be completed in the coming weeks. The artists’ work is based on the latest scientific findings of Ötzi’s appearance, for instance the colour of his eyes, and of course on state-of-the-art x-rays and CT scans of the mummy.

Ötzi’s new appearance will be a closely guarded secret until his unveiling at the opening of the special exhibition on 1 March 2011. All we can say at this point is that Ötzi looks decidedly older than the average mid-forty-year-old today, since his features would have been ravaged by the harsh climate. The Kennis brothers have been surprised by the delicacy of his bone structure. 

The photographer Heike Engel is recording the process of Ötzi’s development. This impressive photo series will be on view for the first time during the special exhibition.

Ötzi’s new fathers


Ötzi is about to get a complete makeover. In the course of summer 2010 the two most eminent experts in the field, Alfons and Adrie Kennis from Arnhem, the Netherlands, will create a new reconstruction based on the latest scientific findings.

3D model

The world’s first stereolithographic model of a skullBefore the model builders could get started, the Zumtobel company in Dornbirn, Austria fashioned an exact 3D copy of the skull from the data gathered from recent CAT scans of the Iceman.

The technique used, known as stereolithography, is a standard procedure for constructing prototypes. It was tested for the first time in the field of medicine on the Iceman in 1992. It has since become an essential tool for preparing complex medical interventions.

The process involves the use of liquid plastic, for example epoxide resin, which is hardened by a laser beam to build up a three-dimensional model layer by layer.

The new reconstruction by Kennis&Kennis will be more accurate and realistic in detail. Ötzi’s posture and facial expression will endow him with more “personality”. This new vision of the Iceman is supported by numerous research findings from recent years.

The new Ötzi will remain under wraps until the exhibition opens on 1 March 2011 (Design: Gruppe Gut)The new Ötzi is still a closely guarded secret. The veiled figure, which forms the main motif of the exhibition, is intended to arouse curiosity about Ötzi’s new appearance.

The current reconstruction, exhibited in the museum since 1998 (Foto: Andre Kaiser)
The current reconstruction model of Ötzi has featured in countless media presentations and publications the world over since 1998. On 1 March 2011 it will be retired to make way for the new reconstruction.

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