Like most artworks in galleries worldwide, visitors haven't been allowed to reach out and touch Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss" at its home at the Belvedere museum in Vienna—until now.
On Wednesday a special three-dimensional version of the masterpiece was unveiled, aimed at enabling the visually impaired to enjoy the work by running their fingers over it.
The "interactive tactile relief", made using a 3-D printer, makes it possible to touch details of the 1907-8 original, the Belvedere said.
Klimt (1862-1918) made "The Kiss", depicting a couple embracing and enveloped in colourful robes, using oil paints and gold leaf during Vienna's "belle epoque" heyday.
The new reproduction, which is much smaller than the original, also has sensors that when touched trigger audio commentary about the work.
"We want to open up a whole new chapter of making art available for the blind and visually impaired," Rainer Delgado from the German association for the blind and visually impaired (DBSV) said.
"Maybe in the future (they) will have a 3-D printer of their own at home and will be able to download 3-D files from museum homepages," he told a news conference in the Austrian capital.
The relief is part of an EU project called AMBAVis (Access to Museums for Blind and Visually Impaired People) which aims to offer visually impaired people "barrier-free" access to art.
© 2016 AFP