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St Nicholas meet namesake

On the eve of the feast day of St Nicholas, children attending St Nicholas Primary School, Mount Pleasant, were the first to see Liverpool John Moores University’s new facial depiction of the saint.

St Nicholas was an historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra (Demre, part of modern-day Turkey) in Lycia.
He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and so he became the model for Santa Claus.

In 1087, the relics of St Nicholas were transported to Bari Cathedral, in Italy.

Professor Caroline Wilkinson and Mark Roughley of the new Face Lab at LJMU’s School of Art and Design have created a new facial depiction of St Nicholas using the latest 3D interactive technology, which depicts the face of a middle-aged man with a long grey beard, round head and square jaw.

St Nicholas also had a severely broken nose, which had healed asymmetrically, giving him a characteristic nose and rugged facial appearance.

Professor Wilkinson said: “This is the most realistic appearance of St Nicholas based on all the skeletal and historical material. It is thrilling for us to be able to see the face of this famous 4th century Bishop.”

Deputy headteacher of St Nicholas Catholic Primary, Angela McKenna, said: “The Year 5 and 6 children are very excited about seeing a reconstruction of St Nicholas, who obviously has great importance to all of us at the school.

“We are we were chosen to be the first to see the facial depiction”.

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