Artworks
Death Mask of Dolly the Sheep
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rzarlif's picture

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The Scots have added a death mask of the world’s most famous, and Scottish, sheep to their National Portrait Gallery. Dolly's death mask joins portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots, David Hume, David Livingstone, and Scottish greats Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Sean Connery (Bond), and Billy Connolly (comedian). I guess Dolly’s inclusion is a tribute to pioneering Scottish science, and not to the hardy Scottish sheep.

Her creators at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, presumably a group of male teenagers, named Dolly after Dolly Parton, because as Ian Wilmut explained, ‘Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn't think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton's.’ Science.

Dolly’s claim to fame – she was an exact replica of her mother. The first cloned mammal. She lived about 7 years. Non-cloned sheep live 10-12 years, so the juveniles at Roslin clearly still have some science to do. The clonee did, however, mate with a small welsh mountain ram and had six lambs.

Is it art? Is it science? Probably both.